Reality Runs Away – The Limits of Documentary

14, 21, 28 NOV 2019

Doors 7:30PM; screenings 8:00PM – 8:45PM; discussion 8:45PM – 9:15PM. RSVP

Ringcross Community Centre, 60 Lough Road N7 8RH

‘Reality Runs Away’ presents three evenings of screenings, comprising films and moving image artworks by emerging artists and filmmakers whose work can be seen to interrogate notions of documentary as a genre, method or concept. The ‘Documentary’ as a category within this context is employed in an expanded sense; the works selected do not necessarily fit neatly within a conventional definition of ‘documentary’. While it is important that each work remains distinct - that each theme, subject and authorial voice is allowed to speak for itself - the diverse array of works, including experimental montage, performance documentation and poetic essay works, placed in dialogue with each other, stage a debate about the relation of the cinematic medium to notions of truth and fiction.

In borrowing the words of French filmmaker Georges Franju for the programme’s title, Perch Arts seeks to prepare the conditions for this dialogue. Franju has said: “You must re-create reality because reality runs away; reality denies reality.” The questions that arise from this are crucial and highly pertinent in an age of ubiquitous camera technologies. What is the camera’s current relation to reality? What is the camera operators responsibility to the creation, or “re-creation” of realities? These works test the conventions that assert documentary’s privileged relation to truth, reality and history. Found and archival footage, interviews and testimonies meet experimental montage techniques and the poetics of the cinematic medium in works rich in visual symbolism. Subjects range from, but are by no means exclusive to, migration, memory, labour and language. The diverse group of artists selected include: Joe Bloom, Cyrus Hung, Rowan Ings, Kadeem Oak, Anastasia Perahia, Will Pham, Bella Riza, Jessie Russell-Donn, Tabitha Steinberg, Wilma Stone and Jing Xie. Each screening will be free and open to the public, preceded by a drinks reception and followed by a discussion with the artists, including a Q&A session.

Free drinks generously provided by Wild Card Brewery

A text accompanying the programme will be distributed at screenings and published online; we also hope to make recordings of the discussions available online.