In the first talk of the series, writer and editor Filipa Ramos reflects on the connection between the invention of cinematic time and the advent of capitalist modernity, considering how cinema and labour have been intertwined for over a century.
It was not a coincidence that one of the first films in history, Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895) by brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière, had its camera pointed at the factory, the site of a new form of labour, a new kind of life, a new shape of time. And that a century later, German filmmaker Harun Farocki created the video installation Workers Leaving the Factory (1995), an archive of historic and contemporary film renderings of that same moment of transition between labour time and idle time.
Observing how the invention and development of cinematic time was glued to the late modern restructuring of time and to the advent of capitalist modernity, this talk will reflect on how the cinema and labour have been walking hand-in-hand for over a century, entering, leaving and shaping workplaces, workforces and workdays.
Co-organised by Camden Arts Centre and the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Temporalities explores artistic practices that engage with notions of time and duration. This new series of talks will focus on media streams and the temporalities of the digital; practices addressing the temporal dimensions of contemporary labour; and artistic efforts to contest imposed cadences.