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Camera Austria International 114 | 2011

Camera Austria International 114 | 2011

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On the Documentary as Political Practice.

Guest-editor: Tobias Zielony

For this edition we invited th e photo artist Tobias Zielony to explore the question of the documentary as political practice with us as guest editor. The world seems to have become photographic, but “the more uninhibited its distribution, the more manifold its forms, the more powerful its effect, the more the image is, the images are, suspected of being deceptive” (Jean-Luc Nancy). What does this suspicion mean for the idea that images could propose a different space of the social and the political, which does not merely promote a penchant for the sensational and for disasters, but which also enables an eventfulness of the image, which undermines the predominant conventions of representation and represses the chattering spectres of mass media? Perhaps it is therefore more necessary than ever to ask about the current strategies of contemporary photo artists and filmmakers, who still remain orientated to specific social realities that still seem to be based on a concept or a notion of the documentary and that could still open up a different space for image politics.

We pursued these questions in 20 short interviews with international photo artists and filmmakers, thus highlighting different documentary approaches, which we pose for negotiation at the same time, as the actualisation of a critical debate about the documentary in the field of the visual itself. “Following the ‘return of the real’, which was already stated for the 1990s, it seems that it is time to pose the question of the critique of representation anew” (Susanne Holschbach in conversation with the artist Peggy Buth).

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