duration: 5 minute loop
projection with 4 speakers
4/3, PAL, color, sound
duration: 5 minute loop
projection with 4 speakers
4/3, PAL, color, sound
It has been a number of years that the so-called ‘documentary turn’ has become a frequent phenomenon in many artists’ films. The talk will be a comparative look into recent documentary practices that diverge from the orthodoxy of documentary as ‘factual’ film’, a notion which contemporary artists have repeatedly challenged of late. These artists working from a documentary point of departure use multiple strategies to reveal known or hidden ‘truths’, sometimes weaving fictional elements into their stories. Many of them demonstrate that ‘truth value’ does not lie in mere representation but may emerge even more forceful through artistic abstraction, translation, filtering and interpretation and that nowadays the borderline between documentary and fiction, or reality and fantasy is often becoming hard to distinguish. The talk aims to illustrate that the notion of the ‘documentary real’ is continuously evolving and cannot now be pinned down to a single definition or delineated through specific boundaries. Indeed it aims to show that some of the most interesting documentary practices are those which I call documentary ‘with a twist’, i.e. films that interweave the political with the poetic, and navigate between different filmic categories to arrive at highly individualistic hybrid documentary forms where the notion of realism is in constant renewal and the idea of ‘fact’ or ‘truth’ may be encoded into ambiguous but no less potent forms.
If the mind penetrates deeply into the facts of aesthetics, it will find more and more, that these facts are based upon an ideal identity between the mind itself and things. At a certain point the harmony becomes so complete, and the finality so close that it gives us actual emotion. The Beautiful then becomes the sublime; brief apparition, by which the soul is caught up into the true mystic state, and touches the Absolute, the Real. It is scarcely possible to persist in this Esthetic perception without feeling lifted up by it above things and above ourselves, in an ontological vision which closely resembles the Absolute of the Mystics. (E. Récéjac, “Fondements de la Connaissance Mystique,” p. 74)
Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and/or material elements sliding against each other. It may be thought of as the opposite of “slipperiness”.
There are several types of friction:
* Dry friction resists relative lateral motion of two solid surfaces in contact. Dry friction is subdivided into static friction between non-moving surfaces, and kinetic friction between moving surfaces.
* Fluid friction describes the friction between layers within a viscous fluid that are moving relative to each other.
* Lubricated friction is a case of fluid friction where a fluid separates two solid surfaces.
* Skin friction is a component of drag, the force resisting the motion of a solid body through a fluid.
* Internal friction is the force resisting motion between the elements making up a solid material while it undergoes deformation.
Aesthetics (also spelled æsthetics or esthetics) is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as “critical reflection on art, culture and nature.”
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means “image writing”, and comes from the Greek εἰκών “image” and γράφειν “to write”. A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the Byzantine and Orthodox Christian tradition. Still in art history, an iconography may also mean a particular depiction of a subject in terms of the content of the image, such as the number of figures used, their placing and gestures. The term is also used in many academic fields other than art history, for example semiotics and media studies, and in general usage, for the content of images, the typical depiction in images of a subject, and related senses. Sometimes distinctions have been made between Iconology and Iconography, although the definitions and so the distinction made varies.
Prologue: A Typical Iconoclash
This image comes from a video. What does it mean? Hooligans dressed in red, with helmets and axes are smashing the reinforced window that is protecting a precious work of art. They are madly hitting the glass that splinters in every direction while loud screams of horror at their action are heard from the crowd beneath them that, no matter how furious it is, remains unable to stop the looting. Another sad case of vandalism captured by a camera of video-surveillance? No. Brave Italian firemen a few years ago risking their lives, in the cathedral of Turin, , to save the precious Shroud from a devastating fire that triggers the screams of horror from the impotent crowd that has assembled behind them. In their red uniforms, with their protective helmets, they try to smash with axes the heavily reinforced glass case that has been built around the venerable linen to protect it – not from vandalism – but from the mad passion of worshippers and pilgrims who would have stopped at nothing to tear it to pieces and obtain priceless relics. The case is so well protected against worshippers that it cannot be brought to safety away from the raging fire without this apparently violent act of glass breaking. Iconoclasm is when we know what is happening in the act of breaking and what the motivations for what appears as a clear project of destruction are; iconoclash, on the other hand, is when one does not know, one hesitates, one is troubled by an action for which there is no way to know, without further enquiry, whether it is destructive or constructive. This exhibition is about iconoclash, not iconoclasm.
Ludwig Wittgenstein’s discussion of aspect perception in the latter part of the Philosophical Investigations is generally credited with inspiring an important strand in contemporary explanations of depiction in which the visual experience of perceivers of pictures has a key role in the explanation. Although theorists working in this tradition have modified his concept of ‘seeing-as’, perceptual concepts related to seeing-as continue to have an important role in visual experience theories of depiction. A close examination of Wittgenstein’s scattered remarks on perceptual concepts and experience, however, shows that he had far more to offer to those seeking a perceptual theory of depiction. The central aim of this paper is to bring these neglected features of his thought to the fore, and to indicate in outline how they might be developed into a theory of depiction.
This paper addresses what is arguably one of the most fundamental questions in the debate on depiction: What is a Picture? It offers a critical discussion of traditional theories of pictorial representation, such as the Resemblance Theory, Conventionalism, and the Illusion Theory. The paper also examines the crucial notions of ‘seeing as’ and ‘seeing in’ and concludes by presenting some of the more recent accounts of depiction including theories proposed by Kendall Walton, Dominic Lopes, Robert Hopkins and John Hyman.