What is real today? Are there different versions of reality? If so, is one truer than the other? And how can we represent all of this?
A whole field of visual creation, and photography in particular, is devoted to keeping the memory of an event, to testify, denounce, explain, in order to reach the consciousness of the spectator and alert him or her or make him or her act: this is the traditional position (and belief) of documentary engagement.
This is today the object of legitimate criticism: too many images kill the image and dissolve its impact in an ever more confusing flow. The reliability of the image is increasingly subject to the stakes of media speed, the monetarisation of the drama, the ideological inflection, the escalation of the spectacular… to the detriment to the search for the truth.
Nevertheless, some contemporary artists are reinventing the documentary approach in an attempt to give it back its power and lucidity. By moving away from classical forms, Laia Abril and Forensic Architecture are are regaining the will to tell the truth and to reach the heart of it.
At the other end of the spectrum of these reinvented forms of inquiry that postulate the existence of a reality that can be reached and given to understand, the screens and the set of technologies that accompany them are gradually modifying the very definition of reality. Deep fakes, artificial intelligence, big data and surveillance, digital identities and avatars of all kinds make up the boundaries between what is and what is not porous. Is there still a clear boundary between the real and the virtual? How does fiction (of oneself, of the world) articulate with our presence, with our body and our mind? How do screens create a replication that is perhaps just as real as our physical lives ? Does the Internet give a new identity to nature, culture and our beings ? Grégory Chatonsky and the project “Me, Myself and I” tackle these questions head-on.
And finally, after these numerous speculations, so that art has literally an impact on reality, Jean-Luc Petit presents a temporal in situ intervention, inspired by the architecture of the place.