Courtesy Lamia Joreige

Date: 6 March 2009
Time: 19:00 – 20:00
Venue: Tate Britain Auditorium

As part of the Tate Triennale, Framing Reality is Delfina Foundation’s contribution to the critical exploration of what Altermodern artistic practices may entail.

An hour-long discussion between two international residents of Delfina Foundation, and internationally renowned curator Mark Nash, Framing Reality will delve into the challenges raised by artists’ increasing involvement with the documentary genre. In an era of reality TV and internet broadcasting, the contested genre of the ‘docu-fiction’, blurs the frontier between reality and fiction, and begs the question who narrates history and whose history?

Notions of artistic engagement have become a complex issue, after the multiplication of post-structuralist theories, seeking to challenge the frontier between fiction and reality. At the same time, documentary embodies an attempt to re-establish a form of truth in our relationship to reality.

Many artists embrace the documentary form for its potential to renew the aesthetic language. The ‘Documentary Turn’ could also mark the possibility of reinvigorating the social dimension of art. In our increasingly mediated world, where it can be argued that social processes have an aesthetic dimension, it is much more difficult to locate areas of personal and social life that are unaffected by art. The question is not about artists entering social reality, since they already are in it, but about their making choices that involve commitment, disinterest and do not always lead to market success.

What does it mean when artists create scenarios that partly rely on existing social realities, or when they actively enter that social reality to generate work? What kind of global perspectives on social, political and personal reality is being proposed by contemporary artists working with the documentary form?

The discussion will be followed by a film screening at 20:00.


Lamia Jorge is a painter, a photographer and a video artist whose work combines archival documents with fictitious elements in order to delve into the possibilities of representation of the Lebanese wars and their aftermaths. Jorge has shown her work internationally, including the 52nd Venice Biennale (Lebanese Pavillion), Archive Fever (an exhibition curated by Okwui Enwezor, for ICP New-York) and Modern Art Oxford (Out of Beirut, 2005).

Mark Nash is an internationally renowned curator and writer.  He was co-curator of Documenta 11 (2002) and film curator of the Berlin Biennial (2004). He has most recently curated Experiments with Truth (Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, 2004-5) and a conference on Film and Ecology for the Royal Society of Arts. He currently is the Head of Curating at the Royal College of Art.

Oraib Toukan works across video, photography and installation. She has received numerous fellowship and awards including ART OMI, New-York, Triangle Workshop, Ford Foundation. Toukan’s work explores socially conditioned understandings of territory, geography and identity, whilst constantly engaging with the concept of space.

In collaboration with

Tate Britain