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Anne Robinson
All At Sea

Journal article

art in-sight
issue 34
September 2007
ISSN: 14604051

pp. 8-11

(image: Dias & Reidweg - Funk Staden)

This article was commissioned by the editors of Filmwaves journal. The piece explores relational aesthetics and the use of participatory video techniques by contemporary artists by looking at two video installation works in Documenta - This Is How We Walk On The Moon (2007) by Johanna Billing and Funk Staden (2007) by Dias & Reidweg. The article examines these in relation to the leitmotifs of Documenta 12: "Is Modernity our antiquity?", "What is 'bare life'?" and "Education: what is to be done?", and the curatorial project set out by Roger Buergel and Ruth Noack: the exhibition as "medium", a space of polyphony, openness, debate, exchange and controversy.

The article All At Sea questions the possibilities of participatory works which set out to be both aesthetically and politically challenging. It suggests that there may be a kind of complacency amongst Documenta's International contemporary art audience encountering works which seem to offer an obvious radical fix, and further explores the structures and aesthetic qualities of video works which seek to blur the boundaries between art and documentary with greater subtlety.

Filmwaves is a non-profit making publishing project devoted to filmmaking. It endeavours to develop our knowledge of film culture, to provide technical advice and to share with its readers the experience of making films. Filmwaves incorporates Art Insight which is a specialist artists’ film and video practice journal. Contributers have included major writers on artists’ moving image work such as Michael Maziere, Cate Elwes and Nicky Hamlyn.

read the full paper:

All At Sea

Filmwaves website

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London Metropolitan University