Georg K. Glaser - Schriftsteller und Schmied

© Generali Foundation Collection—Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Harun Farocki

Georg K. Glaser - Schriftsteller und Schmied, 1987

Film, 16mm, color, sound, transferred to video, 44 min Director: Harun Farocki Photography: Ingo Kratisch Produced by: Harun Farocki Filmproduktion for SWF


Artwork text

Georg K. Glaser is a working-class writer. Quite literally: he spends the morning at his desk and from midday on he is in his workshop in the Paris district, Marais. There he makes bowls, lamps, vases, jugs, and other metal products. He has mastered techniques that almost no other smith is able to carry out. Born near Worms in 1910, Glaser left home early and went wandering. He was put in children’s homes and joined the Communist Party. In 1933 he went underground and fled through the Saar region to France. There he was naturalized and worked for the state railroad until he was conscripted in 1939, soon finding himself in a German prison camp. For years he had to pretend to be a Frenchman who could speak German well. After escaping and being placed in a penal camp, he returned to Paris and worked for Renault. He found working on a conveyor belt intolerable and inhumane. And so, almost 40 years ago, Glaser opened a craft workshop in order to exercise his critical facul-ties in thought and practice. He combines his craft with writing and points out that the French word for craftsman, artisan, contains the syllable “art,” so that art is no longer separated from work. (Harun Farocki)