In Pursuit of Images

Curated by Moad Musbahi as part of 'In 20/20', a programme directed by Ana Maria Nicolaescu

AA Gallery 23/1/2020 - 21/2/2020
24 January until 21 February inclusive.

Private View on Thursday 23 January

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 18.00

For Farocki, the distinction between the documentary and the fictional film lay in the movement of the camera as it tracks its subject: the subject is unpredictable, the documentarian pursues. At times the image is missed by a few frames. The perspective is corrected and returned. This logic of pursuit in Harun Farocki’s Parallel 1-4 (2012-2014) is tested as the camera disappears in the face of the computer-generated images that are being documented. What is being tracked here is not a visible subject as such, but the operational figure of the coder, of the hardware engineer. The missed frames are replaced by the simulation error, the badly executed routine, when the reality-effect momentarily slips away from the real.

In Pursuit of Images looks to these moments and explores how different techniques of derealisation are utilised in documentary practice. The works range from Anand Patwardhan’s revisionist rereading of Ramayana’s founding myth as a docu-music video in We Are Not Your Monkeys (1996) to IM Heung-soon’s Short Dream: Short Dream Ⅱ - Invitation to Happiness (2008/9) addressing the history of the Vietnam War from the perspective of those whose dreams still reside within it.

As found material from archives, tele-visual news and user generated media are used to portray historic events, the documentation of these mediatised records, of a simulated reality, become ever harder to comprehend as in the work of Maha Maamoun’s Night Visitor: The Night of Counting the Years (2011), Naeem Mohaiemen’s Abu Ammar is Coming (2016) and are subverted through Alia Farid’s use of the autobiographical in Theatre of Operations (The Gulf War Seen from Puerto Rico) (2017). The image’s verifiability becomes a tool that is mobilised in Kamal Aljafari’s re-montage of American and Israeli 1960s action films of Jaffa in Recollection (2015), a method to reclaim and recollect the city’s disappearing Palestinian identity through the documents of its perpetrator.  

Larry Achiampong & David Blandy’s A Terrible Fiction (2019) contest the racialised origin stories that support the scientific objectivity so central to the military-industrial complex that Farocki’s Serious Games 1-4 (2009-2010) documents. Thinking through the role of contemporary art in Farocki’s first video installation, Interface (1995), and by bringing together artists working in moving-image toexpose the racial, social and political regimes of image production, In Pursuit of Images questions the possibilities that documentary may still provide. 

In Pursuit of Images will include commissioned work: Letter to Harun: a Postscript to What Everybody Knows by Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri and Wound Contra Empire by Edwin Nasr & Bassem Saad that will be performed on February 14 as part of the In 20/20 Symposium
Exhibition Design by Transformer Office
Programme Assistants: Jasmine Abu Hamdan and Paulina Burzynska

Image Credit: Video still from "Parallel II" 2014
© Harun Farocki GbR

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.