Nicolas Bourriaud on ‘Docu-Fiction’

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About Docu-fiction

Taking a trend that is prevalent in contemporary film and TV culture, artists are creating works which mix historical, journalistic or personal enquiry with fictionalised accounts. They layer archive and historical material with personal information. Truth and fiction are presented side by side, in modes traditionally associated with the authentic. ‘The predominant aesthetics of this concern with intemporality reside to all appearances in the massive usage of black and white, for instance in the 16mm silent films projected by Joachim Koester, the iconography of David Noonan, Tris Vonna-Michell or Charles Avery, the drawings of Olivia Plender, Tacita Dean’s series The Russian Ending, or the entire universe of Lindsay Seers. Today, black and white labels images as belonging to the past and the world of archives – at the same time, however, guaranteeing the authenticity of their content, by the single fact that their technique pre-dates Photoshop. In the books of W.G. Sebald, the narrative is punctuated by similar photos, which, according to the author, are there to emphasise the truth of the story.’ Nicolas Bourriaud, Altermodern: Tate Triennial, Tate Publishing, 2009 (p21).