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Symposium: What is Real? Photography and the Politics of Truth

THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY presents a two-day symposium to examine the changing nature of documentary practice,
bringing together photographers, artists, writers, curators, and scholars in a series of panels and conversations.

Fri. Dec. 12 6–10 pm
Sat. Dec.13 9–5

242 West 41st Street
New York City

For more information: education@icp.org or 212 857 0001
To register: www.icp.org/events
$10 | $5 ICP Members | Students Free with ID

The term documentary now encompasses a more diverse set of approaches than ever before. While the intersection of “document” and “art” is not a new phenomenon, and has often occurred at moments of social, political, and economic crisis, an unprecedented slippage between these realms has become evident during the past two decades.

The symposium asks: Has this shift provoked a crisis in documentary or reinvigorated its practice? Does the blurring of “documentary” and “art” attest to the failure of traditional documentary forms, or does it merely evince a drive to produce socially and politically relevant work, whatever the context? Have documentary tendencies in art diluted the effectiveness or truth-value of socially engaged, “concerned” documentary? Or has the very impossibility of objective truth itself become a trope?

In light of these questions, it seems useful to revisit the very nature and definition of documentary. What is Real? will investigate the continued relevance of documentary photography in light of its history, contemporary trends, and the role of the personal and subjective in documentary.


Fri. Dec. 12 6–10 pm

6:00pm Opening Remarks, Buzz Hartshorn, Ehrenkranz Director, ICP
Sponsor’s remarks, Bjorn Edlund, Shell

6:30–7:30pm Keynote: “Of Veils and Mourning: Fazal Sheikh’s Widowed Images,” Eduardo Cadava

7:45–9:45pm Redefining Documentary: The State of Documentary Photography Today will examine the extent to which the model of objective documentary practice is still relevant, how photographers have responded to trenchant critiques first launched in the 1970s, and where the future of documentary lies.
Geoffrey Batchen, Susan Meiselas, Allan Sekula, moderated by Brian Wallis

Saturday, Dec. 13, 9am–5pm

9:00am Welcome remarks

9:30–11:30am Community in the Digital Age: Personal Memoirs and the Subjective Documentary will explore the impact of digital and on-line technologies on documentary photography, especially the way they have encouraged more subjective and autobiographical approaches.
Nayland Blake, David Deitcher, Sarah Schulman

11:30–12:30 Lunch break

12:30–2:30pm Who Needs Truth Anyway? The Uses and Ethics of Documentary will address a fundamental question: Can documentary practice continue to be held to the notions of truth, evidence, and witness? Or has the awareness and acceptance of subjectivity in documentary negated its evidentiary and testimonial possibilities?
Ariella Azoulay, Philip Gourevitch, An-My Lê, Thomas Levin, moderated by Thomas Keenan

2:30–4:30pm Art versus Propaganda: How Effective is Documentary? will consider the ways that both documentary photographers and artists working in a documentary mode have addressed questions of narrative, partisanship, and the effectiveness of documentary work.
Okwui Enwezor, Ken Light, Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, moderated by Maria Lind

4:30–5pm Response and summation

Made possible by Shell

by Ida at 2008-12-09 00:48:39 UTC Brooklyn , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

12 Dec 2008 00:12

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Ida, Media Strategist Ida
Media Strategist
Brooklyn , United States


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