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Seminar: Approaching Documentary as Art (After Adorno)


FRAMES of REPRESENTATION (FoR), now in its fourth edition, continues to be a showcase for the cinema of the real, investigating the political and aesthetic approaches at its core. 

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Seminar: Approaching Documentary as Art (After Adorno)

  • ICA, The Mall London SW1Y 5AH United Kingdom (map)

In defiance of Adorno’s claim that the camera was ill-suited to the creation of art, filmmakers and artists have long sought to radicalize the codes of cinematic representation in pursuit of an experimental mode of documentary filmmaking beyond the confines of dominant cinema. At the same time, however, Adorno advanced a philosophy of history that saw mankind united in the irrational, caught in the tension between the particularities of individual lives and the colossal forces that shape the course of world history – the artists of FoR19 seem to share in this irrational approach to history, and to truth, inhabiting the fraught territory between fiction and documentary and raising questions of the relationship of the camera to the world.

In this roundtable discussion between academics and filmmakers, we will explore the ways in which artists and filmmakers have ‘deframed’ cinema and photography, liberating them to pursue art both through and despite the limitations Adorno observed. Ultimately, we will consider the consequences of the entanglement of art and documentary for our understanding of truth, history, and justice.

Speakers: TBC

Refreshments will be provided and you will have the opportunity to meet and network with film-makers whose work is showing at the festival.