The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb


Conference on contemporary photography: Beyond the Documentary

Museum of Contemporary Art — Gorgona hall, ground floor, 9th of September 2017 10 AM - 6 PM / Entrance FREE

We wish to consider the concept of the New Citizen as the thematic framework of the 9th Organ Vida not only through photography, but also discursively, by introducing for the first time an integrated discursive program entitled “Beyond the Documentary”. In the context of transformation politics and reflection on the ambiguity of identity, the New Citizen transcends his/her own boundaries and eludes a fixed concept, which is why we find him/her intriguing as a starting point for conceiving our discursive program. We reflect on collective and individual tasks and responsibilities of those who create images, but also those who observe them. We are interested in the perspective “beyond the documentary” which recognizes the causes and consequences of the creation and representation of the image; which distances itself from the illusion of mimesis and focuses instead on the impossibility of representation; which is innovative and emancipated, in keeping with the times, and, when necessary, conflicted and ambivalent. We pose the question of the reach and significance of “the ethical turn” and “the ethical regime of art” (Ranciere) which pushes the boundaries of the representable, at the same time renouncing visuality when confronted with the impossibility of representation. In a similar fashion we approach and consider the documentary, which today disintegrates into the stratified post-documentary which, among others things, may include a new form of ethical representation, a dialogue between the political and artistic/aesthetic, a transformation into the discursive, multidisciplinary, engaged and layered. New forms of visual communication refute the authenticity of the documentary, challenge representation as an act of one-way production of the visual and embrace the reciprocated gaze. We wish to shed light on the concept, forms and range of the new documentary and simultaneously to consider how such a visual turn refines and transforms the positions and the gaze of the viewer whom it is addressing.

Organisation: Photography Association Organ Vida

Conference coordinators: Lea Vene and Marija Borovičkić

Partner: Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb


Ministry of Cultyre of Republic of Croatia

City Office for Education, Culture and Sport of the City of Zagreb

Photo: Marko Gutić Midžimakov, Tonči Kranjčević Batalić – (in)visible traces of a history

Conference programme

10:00–10:15 Introduction

10:15–11:00 David Bate: The Three Regimes of Documentary

11:00-11:15 Discussion

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-11:50 Jessie Bond: How has social media impacted on the role of the caption in documentary photography?

11:50-12:10 Sophia Greiff: Alternative Storytelling in Contemporary Photojournalism

12:10-12:30 Dario Vuger: Documenting and the inaccessibility of life

12:30-12:50 Miha Colner: Creating Alternative Discourses: Contemporary Photography Between Mass Media and Art Practice

12:50-13:10 Discussion

13:10-14:10 Lunch break

14:10-14:30 Ivana Anić: A Smashed Head in Our News Feed, or On the Ethics of Looking

14:30-14:50 Paola Paleari: ISIS, the Arab Spring and the representation of war: new challenges for contemporary image-based artists

14:50-15:10 Cristopher Sims: Theater of War: The Pretend Villages of Iraq and Afghanistan

15:10-15:30 Discussion

15:30- 15:50 Break

15:50-16:10 Lecture-performance Katarina Šoškić: Pool slides and springboards or: My journey is recursive

16:10-16:30 Alexandra Polina:Masks, Myths and Subjects

16:30-16:50 Dragana Jurišić: My Own Unknown

16:50-17:10 Queeranarchive: (in)visible traces of a history

17:10-18:00 Final discussion

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