Politics of Truth V – On the Uncertainty of the Documentary


Date: 27.11.2018 — 06.01.2019
Beginning: 19:00

The final, fifth chapter of our long-term programme, devoted to documentary tendencies in contemporary video art, presents works that use specific artistic strategies to reflect on the uncertainty related to the (in)capability of audio-visual means to represent reality. This last screening block summarises the previous chapters of the etc. gallery project titled the Politics of Truth. It recapitulates key strategies through which artists reflect on and transform the preconceptions of their own work and the features of the documentary form. The screening presents videos made by established authors, whose work represents influential models of critical approaches to the documentary artistic practice.
The boundary between reality and fiction is subverted in the movie Return to Adriaport by Adéla Babánová. The artist uses animated collage to reconstruct a historical project that has never been implemented. Documentary materialisation of the vision of building a tunnel to the Adriatic Sea grotesquely reflects the restrictive character of the present-day political situation in Czechoslovakia.
In her video Electrical Gaza, Rosalind Nashashibi captures every-day life in the Gaza strip during the military operation launched by the Israeli government. Combining observatory approach with animated sequences, the artist underlines the political situatedness of ordinary places.
Mich’ael Zupraner’s movie The Snow Tapes uses camera recordings taken by a Palestinian family living in the Hebron sector controlled by the Israelis. Two-channel screening juxtaposes shots that capture conflicts with Israeli settlers and the reactions of the family while watching their own recordings. Instead of the “distanced” image of the Other, Zupraner’s work gives a direct insight into the conflict between two (culturally different) communities.
In her movie In Free Fall, Hito Steyerl points out the interconnected mechanisms of economics, violence and entertainment in the age of global capitalism. She uses the story of an iconic Boeing aircraft, famously used in many movies, to demonstrate the global mechanism. The circulation of images and distribution of artworks is critically perceived as an inherent part of this process.
Based on a found footage with no sound, Anri Sala’s canonical movie Intervista reconstructs a speech by a young, politically engaged woman that was delivered at a congress of an Albanian communist party in the 1970s. Sala’s search for the original content of the speech reconstructs the event through the contemporary lens of involved actors, and most importantly through the lens of the young woman, who is Sala’s mother Valdet.
Presented videos:
Adéla Babanová – Return to Adriaport (2013, 13 min)
Rosalind Nashashibi – Electrical Gaza (2015, 17 min)
Michael Zupraner – The Snow Tapes (2011, 11 min)
Hito Steyerl – In Free Fall (2010, 32 min)
Anri Sala – Intervista (1998, 26 minut)
Project curators: Alžběta Bačíková, Markéta Jonášová a Anna Remešová
All movies are in English or have English subtitles.
The commentary will be held in Czech, but there is a possibility of a translation.