AboutIn collaboration with Sheffield Doc/Fest and Site Gallery, S1 Artspace presents A Peculiar Form of Fiction, an exhibition which draws together works from the 1970s onwards by artists who have used the techniques and tropes of documentary in their work because of its directness, impact and its unstable position in relation to truth.
The exhibition includes key works by Duncan Campbell, Phil Collins, Jeremy Deller, John Smith, Hito Steyerl, and Gillian Wearing.
The artists included in this exhibition are typically acutely aware of their own authorship, the awkwardness of looking, and the explicit ethical problems of telling a story. As such, the works often deliberately expose their production methods and reveal the artist maker within the narrative. Through avoiding a seemingly à»objectiveà¼ position, works such as Battle of Orgreave (2001) by Jeremy Deller, Self Made (2010) by Gillian Wearing and Girl Chewing Gum (1976) by John Smith implicate the artist as a more than a silent witness.
Hito Steyerl explains her fascination with this form of making work: 'The perpetual disbelief, the gnawing uncertainty about whether what we see is true, faithful to reality or factual, accompany documentary images as their shadow. This doubt is not a deficiency ... but the basic attribute of contemporary documentary images.'
Presented at both S1 Artspace and Site Gallery for the duration of Doc/Fest (13 17 June), the exhibition will continue at S1 Artspace only until 21 July.