poet Jena Osman, poet Kristin Prevallet, painter Zachary Wollard
on Thursday, April 28 at 7 PM, 136 West 21st Street, room 220 (on the second floor)
Admission: Free and open to the public.
Documentary Poetics: How do different arts understand and practice documentary poetics, and what can they learn from one another? Although the “documentary” mode entails a certain amount of artifice when it translates reality into art, documentary draws its authority from a claim to be nonfiction or to be recording external reality, often by playing on the emotions of viewers. What draws artists and poets to this claim associated with the documentary mode, and how does it relate to their process of making art? What if we think of documentary as encompassing artwork that, rather than trying to move the viewer, presents dangerous information? One example that comes to mind is Hans Haacke’s “Real Time Social System,” the listing of real estate holdings in Manhattan which was declared “not art” by the Guggenheim Museum. What if we throw in Olson’s investigative poetics–the idea of immersing oneself in one aspect of reality-or the documentary poetics of Kristen Prevallet and Jena Osman, who use social facticity and procedural methods to achieve dramatic political and aesthetic effects? What do we say about Zachary Wollard’s psychedelic and visionary translations of reality into memorable and sometimes disturbing images? Clearly “information” is not a neutral category, especially when we are dealing with problematic or difficult information. If we honor the (at times dubious) claims of documentary as a genre, is it possible for us to “lie with statistics” in an ethical way? Moderated by poets Vincent Katz and Tim Peterson.