Okwui Enwezor: Documentary: Verité

The theme of my talk is wide ranging and draws mostly on the tension between objectivity and truth, ethics and aesthetics (a dichotomy I find tendentious), the other side of which has been rendered as politics and poetics in relation to the representation of the real in contemporary art. Two questions concern me here, the first is my response, after more than a year to the critical reception of Documenta11, much of which of which depended on the facile notion that many of the projects were documentary in mode or could be conceived as effecting their criticality through a strong focus on reality. Having engaged this debate, the second point is to ask: to what extent is the figure of the real to be found in the figure of truth which the documentary mode is said to merchandise. I shall look at this issue theoretically, firstly by showing the tension between the concept of documentary and that of verite, and secondly by engaging a number of wide ranging practices both in Documenta11 and other places to engage this tension.


This entry was posted on Sunday, September 19th, 2010 at 2:49 pm
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