On Tuesday, 27th October, Adam Szymczyk, director of Kunsthalle Basel invited to see Videogramme einer Revolution by Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica. The film documents the Romanian revolution in 1989. And it leaves the audience with a lot to talk about.
Videogramme einer Revolution is the compilation of video camera movies and television broadcasts during the five days of revolution in Romania from 21st to 25th December 1989. The clips are compiled in chronological order. You see shots of the masses, the takeover of the national television center, discussions as to what to communicate to the people, how to name the new party, how the new flag should look like. You have probably never been more close to a revolution. The film transports a very complete and deep-inside image of the happenings.
Like Bogdan Ghiu, writer, essayist and critic, put it in his introductory speech to the film in Stadtkino, the revolution in Romania was televised. The takeover of television was one of the main acts during these days. What a camera transports is never the truth. It is always a digestion, steered by the one who holds the camera. Art, like a camera, cannot transport reality. It can try to repeat it, to reproduce and reinterpret it, and the more it does so, it can actually change it. Repetition is the basis of change. And there is no real repetition. There is only reinterpretation.
The incentive for the choice of this film was Daniel Knorr’s Led R. Nanirok, the current exhibition in Kunsthalle. It’s not only that Knorr is a Romanian which provides the link. Knorr, in his work, deals with cultural learned assumptions and thus with the images we have of our environment, of history, of everything that is. And Videogramme einer Revolution documents a historical event in a way we have not had the chance to remember it until now. And it really does take you in.