Original title Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik in elf Jahrzehnten A video installation for 12 monitors, produced for the the exhibition Cinema like never before (Generali Foundation 2006, curators Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki) Idea, realisation Harun Farocki Collaborator Jan Ralske, video b/w and col., sound, tot. 36 min. (Loop), Germany 2006

Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades

The installation of scenes from throughout film's history of workers leaving the factory, is displayed on twelve monitors simultaneously. In cinematography, perception and concept diverge. Indeed history's first film, Lumière's La sortie des usines Lumière, shows a building that doesn't look like a factory at all. It looks more like a farm. When it comes to social conflict, the show place 'in front of a factory', is very significant; when it comes to a private life of a film's character, which really only begins after work, the factory is relegated to the background. In Fritz Langs Clash by Night (1952), one sees Marilyn Monroe on the assembly line, coming out of the factory, and one hears her talking about it. But the existence of factories and movie stars are not compatible. A movie star working in a factory evokes associations of a fairy tale in which a princess must work before she attains her true calling. Factories – and the whole subject of labor – are at the fringes of film history.

(Harun Farocki)