“Sometimes I see movies or watch TV, and they never show people working. Do you know why?” – Passion (Jean-Luc Godard, 1982)
Today, a treasure trove. The video embedded above (Hadas Emma Kedar | Control Room | Tel Aviv | 2012) — and those collected below — are particularly exceptional examples of the micro-documentary works created for Labour In A Single Shot, an ongoing project started in 2011 by Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki that initiates the production of such films through workshops around the world.
In their words (from the official website’s ‘Concept’ page, which you should read), “the task of the workshops is to produce videos of 1 to 2 minutes, framed in a single shot. The camera might be static, panning or travelling – only cuts are not allowed”, and this is done to investigate “‘labour’: paid and unpaid, material and immaterial, rich in tradition or altogether new”.
These short-form works of observational cinema possess a stunning clarity of vision, drawing upon the distinct presence of process and repetition in a recordable reality strewn with all the myriad forms of work that one can discover.
Ignacio Masllorens | Soap Packaging | Buenos Aires | 2013
For a wider master-shot view of the same, see part 2.
Piyush K Kashyap | Ants | Bangalore | 2012
Andrew Sala | Backstage | Buenos Aires | 2013
Ignacio Masllorens | Museum Guard | Buenos Aires | 2013
Antje Freitag | Pet Crematorium | Berlin | 2012