The exhibition ‘New Perspectives on Documentary Practices’ reflects on the changing position and strategies of visual journalism in today’s world. In particular, it examines current tendencies in visual storytelling and provides a compelling perspective on documentary practices.
Part of the digital exhibition is a LIVE talk with Lisa Barnard and Robert Knoth, two of the exhibiting artists. Both have been eager to break out of the photojournalistic realm through their careers, and found their own visual approach in producing, conceptualising and disseminating their projects.
Lisa Barnard recently published her book “The Canary and the Hammer” which tells about our reverence for gold and its role in humanity’s ruthless pursuit of progress. During her research process she created the website “The Gold Depository” to share her findings immediately with an audience.
Robert Knoth re-worked, together with his partner Antoinette de Jong, their own archive of news images, radio broadcasts and photo series they had produced in the late nineties and the 00s. The result became “Poppy: Trails of Afghan Heroin” about the devastating effects of the worldwide opium trade. The project was launched as a four screen installation and book in 2012, and, with new storylines, in 2018 as an interactive website.
On Sunday the 21st of June Lisa Barnard and Robert Knoth will talk about the choices they made for the presentation platforms, the value of indepth research and how they manage to balance between the stories they want to tell about ordinary people and the unravelling of the mechanisms behind our global society. They also discuss the tension between the hyper reality of journalism and the more abstract qualities of art and literature, which requires a self-reflexive documentary approach.
Session was hosted by VII Photo Agency.
All Live Talks are free of charge. But you can make a donation for the festival. Any sum is welcome. Please donate.
Lisa Barnard (b.1967) photographic practice is placed in the genre of documentary. Her work discusses real events, embracing complex and innovative visual strategies that utilise both traditional documentary techniques with more contemporary and conceptually rigorous forms of representation. She has published three monographs: “Chateau Despair” and “Hyenas of the Battlefield, Machines in the Garden”. Her recent publication The Canary and the Hammer is published by MACK. The Hyenas photo book was funded by the Albert Renger Patzsche Book Award, and nominated for the Prix Du Livre at Rencontres D’Arles (2015). Barnard is an Associate Professor in Photography and is programme leader of the MA in Documentary Photography and also teaches on the BA in Documentary Photography at The University of South Wales, Cardiff (UK).
For over two and a half decades Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong have worked, travelled and lived in conflict areas in Africa, the former Soviet-Union and Asia, including Afghanistan under Taleban reign in the 1990s, reporting for national and international media. Following the technological developments in the Age of the Internet Knoth and De Jong started to experiment with layered forms of storytelling, and to merge the hyperrealism of documentary with the abstract and conceptual qualities from contemporary art. In long-term trans-historic projects they integrate different media and techniques, incorporating materials from a variety of online sources.