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Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts

The camera behind film history’s first movie was pointed at a factory. Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory, shot in 1895 by Auguste and Louis Lumière, shows men and women as they leave the gate of the Lumière factory in Lyon, France. Typical of early nineteenth century films, this film was made in one continuous shot, a technique that emphasizes the idea that every detail of the moving world is worth considering and capturing. For their project Labor in a Single Shot, Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki returned to the methods of the Lumière brothers, inviting filmmakers and art and film students worldwide to express the subject of “work” with a single camera shot.

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Boston Center for the Arts is proud to host the United States premiere of Labor in a Single Shot. The exhibition includes films by filmmakers who worked with Ehmann and Farocki during their October 2013 workshop at MIT. Boston-area subject matter includes ticket scalpers at Fenway Park, a neighborhood honey vendor and professional Cos Play workers among others.  With America’s unemployment rate at over six percent, the investigation of labor in all forms – paid, unpaid, material, immaterial, traditional, innovative, rural or urban – is at the forefront of the media landscape.

View the installation photos

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Associated Public Programs: Free and Open to the Public

Opening Reception
Friday, September 19 | 6pm
Mills Gallery

Conference: Labor in a Single Shot
Three-Day International, Interdisciplinary Conference
Organized by Boston University and the Goethe-Institut
Thursday, November 13-14 | Goethe-Institut Boston | 170 Beacon Street | Boston
Saturday, November 15 | Boston University Photonics Center | 8 St Mary's Street | Boston

Art of the Cocktail: The Labor of Liquor
Wednesday, October 1 | 6 pm and 8 pm
Cocktails and visual arts come together in an illuminating tasting amidst the exhibition Labor in a Single Shot.  Food+cocktail blogger Dr. Markeya Williams (Traveling Foodie in 4” Stilettos) and Head Distiller Maggie Campbell of Privateer Rum (Ipswich, MA) host a conversation about rum surrounded by images of labor by experimental filmmakers in the Mills Gallery.

Holiday hours

The Mills Gallery will be closed for Thanksgiving from Wednesday, November 26 through Friday, November 28.
It will be open during regular gallery hours on Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30.

Exhibition sponsor:

labor in a single shot goethe logo

With additional support of:

labor in a single shot consulate germany logolabor in a single shot lufthansa logo

We are grateful to the Joan Mitchell Foundation for its support.

Fernando Mendez, Carpenter, Mexico City 2014
Kirill Preobrazhenskiy, Street Sweeper, Moscow 2013
Magda Kulak, Natural History Museum, Lodz 2013



National Endowment for the Arts

Institutional supporters

Massachusetts Cultural Council


Liberty Mutual Foundation

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