Art and the Real: Documentary, Ethnography, Enactment



Art and the Real: Documentary, Ethnography, Enactment
When | Thursday 12 – Saturday 14 July
Location | Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney




In the last decade or so, we have witnessed an escalation of artistic production drawn to ethnographic protocols, and documentary media and methods. Artists framed in this way include: Liisa Roberts, Sharon Lockhart, Kutlug Ataman, Nan Goldin, Atelier von Lieshout, Mark Dion and Gillian Wearing, amongst many others. This conference aims to critically interrogate this current situation and art which combines the human sciences and documentary means, as well as art that attempts to intervene in social or cultural situations. The precedents for the latter form of art might include situationism and neo-concretism.


The conference provides the opportunity to critically examine both historical precedents and contemporary incarnations of both the ethnographic turn in contemporary art and the forms of art practice characterised as either interventionist or participatory.


Keynote speakers include: Geoffrey Batchen, Professor of the History of Photography and Contemporary Art, The City University of New York. Anne Rorimer, Chicago based independent scholar and freelance curator and author of New art in the 60s and 70s: redefining reality (Thames & Hudson, 2001).


This project has been assisted by the Federal Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The conference is kindly supported by the Art Gallery of New South Wales; the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales; The Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW.