Evidentiary Realism. An exhibition on forensic investigation and art

Inspired by cases like WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, and the Panama Papers, a group of artists engaged in investigative and forensic work explore the role of art in the cyberculture era.

Thomas Keenan and Eyal Weizman, Mengele’s Skull, 2012

What is evidence and how can it be represented through an artwork? Curated by New York-based  Italian artist/hacktivist Paolo Cirio, “Evidentiary Realism” is a group show featuring artists engaged in investigative, forensic, and documentary work currently on view, through February 17, at contemporary art gallery NOME in Berlin.

As suggested by the exhibition title, the show presents a particular form of realism in art which originates from a reflection on complex and contradictory issues at the core of our times: socio-economic discrepancies, post-9/11 geopolitics, environmental disasters and the degradation of civil rights.

Harun Farocki, I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts, 2000
Harun Farocki, I Thought I Was Seeing Convictsa, 2000. Digital video projection, one channel, 23 min., Analog BetaSp. Courtesy Harun Farocki GbR

In the cyberculture era, technology has changed the ways in which we access, process, and share information: the open, global collaborative environment we live in multiplies the stimuli we’re exposed to on a daily basis and thus produces an amplified sense of reality. Inspired by cases like WikiLeaks, Edwards Snowden, and the Panama Papers, the artists of “Evidentiary Realism” argue for contemporary art practices that can engage the public through artworks capable of exploring the notion of evidence and its modes of representation.

James Bridle, Seamless Transitions, 2015
James Bridle, Seamless Transitions, 2015. Digital video projection, one channel, 5:28 min. Commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery, London, Supported by Nome, Berlin, and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Animation by Picture Plane

The artworks on display at NOME diverge from journalism and reportage, for they aim to provoke visual pleasure and emotional responses in the viewer. Photography, drawing, film, painting, sculpture –  the artists of “Evidentiary Realism” focus on the formal aspect and shape their visual language and mediums according to the subject matter they investigate. Enigmatic and seductive works serve as evidence of the opaque and intricate apparatus of our reality.

Evidentiary Realism
Opening dates:
2 December 2017 – 17 February 2018
Paolo Cirio
Sadie Barnette, Josh Begley, James Bridle, Ingrid Burrington, Harun Farocki, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Hans Haacke, Jenny Holzer, Khaled Hafez, Mark Lombardi, Kirsten Stolle, Thomas Keenan & Eyal Weizman
Glogauer str. 17, Berlin

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