The Document

Speakers: Abbas Kiarostami (Tehran),  Linda Lai (Hong Kong), Shooshie Sulaiman (Kuala Lumpur) 
Moderator: Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programmes, Asia Art Archive

The document, and the archival impulse it embodies, has become the preeminent artistic form in critically relevant art circuits. At Documenta 13 (held every five years in Germany, and widely considered a key barometer to assess artistic currents), for example, the document confronted one at every corner: as performance; as film; as mobile phone photos and videos; as sculptural installations; as interactive tours; and, at least in one case, as the fabric of the building itself. This dominance of form is also due to an expansion of the scale and scope of what the document does. The ease and economy of digital image-making is one enabling factor. But arguably the greater impact has come from a shift in how artists have moved beyond the archive as a store of ‘truths’ and fixed meanings to embrace the production of meaning as a fragmentary, elusive, individual, and participatory enterprise. This panel focuses on how the document is now a site of construction where the fictive meets the factual, chance meets repetitive order, and evidence meets speculation.

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