Harun Farocki Institut presents two evenings with films by the American filmmaker Cathy Lee Crane on the occasion of her current Harun Farocki Residency in Berlin, supported by the Goethe-Institut. Since 1994 Crane has crafted lyrical films of speculative history. She has also collaborated extensively with filmmakers, including Harun Farocki, with whom she researched and filmed for the installation and film project “Prison Images” in California.
The borderlands is a recurring theme in the Berlin presentation of Crane’s films with the international premiere of her feature-length documentary Crossing Columbus (2020) and the screening of the short film terrestrial sea (2022) as part of the collaborative film program (X)-trACTION. Both films build on Crane’s long standing historical investigation on the western boundary between the United States of Mexico and the United States of America, which also manifests in the ongoing multiple platform hybrid film series Drawing the Line, one iteration of which will also be presented as a 14-channel installation from July 15-24 by the Harun Farocki Institut in an independent project space in Berlin-Wedding (Gerichtstrasse 45, 13347 Berlin, more information on the HaFI Website).
Crossing Columbus and the short film On the Line (2010) are distant companion pieces exploring the crossing of lines that mark Mexican territory. The latter crosses the Tropic of Cancer in Baja, the former the Columbus, New Mexico/Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua town. Both films showcase Crane’s longtime collaboration with Composer Beth Custer and Sound Designer Jeremiah Moore.
In the program (X)-trACTION, a collaborative of five media artists including Crane share their latest works to reflect on and maybe even destroy the term “extraction.” By examining the technical and the common use of the term, they also ponder their position as artists who grapple with how they extract images, ideas, and stories from their subjects both human and geographical.