AboutDomo Baal is delighted to present (traffic scarcely audible), an exhibition of film and video. The screening will investigate ways of telling. The origins of each of the works selected might be considered to be in the realms of documentary filmmaking, however each work also brings to the forefront the muddy waters between a document and a fiction, or the poetic and the informative. Often when we expose the extent to which these two categories merge a certain feeling of uncomfortableness is produced. This terrain between documentary and fiction is not, as we often like to think, a line, but rather, bedrock. The two are intricately entwined, it is only a matter of to what extent this entwining is exposed to us, or else concealed and camouflaged. The question of whether we are looking at something spontaneous or rehearsed is one that we face constantly, perhaps the medium of documentary film helps us to look at why we form such questions. Perhaps when the camera allows us to experience this shift between documentary and fiction it mirrors our experience in life whether it is in the sensations produced by a daydream or by a lie we have been living. Perhaps it can assist us in examining the question of whether it is possible to truly improvise? We are informed by so many pre prescribed elements, to truly improvise you might have to be totally unselfconscious.
While some works might take a blunt strategy of stripping away to expose the constructs of what is considered to be a âdocument', others might touch on these issues in a more poetic fashion, skipping lightly over the notion of a documentary as a method of informing. Works included might involve our need to tell stories or embellish reality, or perhaps their focus may be on confusion and the jumbled way in which we experience existence, in relation to the complete, whole world created by a film.
What has been re-mastered or edited in afterwards? What is missing from the archive or the autobiography? What do we choose to speak of and what is best kept as a secret? What has been burnt or gone rotten? What disintegrates as we grab it from the back of the drawer or when we pull it out from the shadows? Some works might speak of our desire for documentary to reveal a secret, to show the real world or expose events as they happened. Other works might speak only in secrets and paint mysterious, visionary pictures that show the world without pretending to understand it and without tricking us into believing we can know everything.
Within this screening each work follows the common thread of portraying isolated existences whether in town or country. The aforementioned issues of documentary making are brought to the foreground in relation to questions of the portrayal of rural life or of alienated people in the city. Perhaps the intrusion of the camera becomes especially pronounced when it is turned upon a lonely figure. The cities swell by the day as people across the world leave country life behind them. As Londoners our imagination of the countryside might tend towards being somewhat picturesque.
This screening involves works from individuals in both art world and film world categories. The terrain that I speak of is occupied by individuals from both worlds due to its very nature, which also lies between categories. In making this screening the intention is to create discussion and raise questions around these issues.