Berlin Documentary Forum is a biennial festival dedicated to documentary practices across a variety of disciplines.
The project seeks to explore the documentary as an art form capable of constructing and reshaping realities and histories. Encompassing cultural studies, philosophy, and diverse artistic practices, the festival accentuates the critical potential of documentary work and distinguishes it from today’s excessive production and distribution of visual documents.
The second edition of the festival will investigate the ability of images to produce truth and authenticity, to provoke controversy, and to implement change. Berlin Documentary Forum 2 reinforces the documentary as a dialectical form that negotiates between the real, its representation by an author, and an observing, critical audience. In a program of live performances, screenings, and presentations, international artists and theoreticians will explore the uncontrolled, and unpredictable character of the documentary “event”. Initiated in 2010 and held at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, particular attention is given to the festival’s architecture and spatial design to generate specific settings for different artistic formats and audiences.
The group exhibition A Blind Spot, curated by Catherine David looks at the documentary in contemporary art and photography. The works included in this show subvert conventional visual regimes by addressing the openness and indeterminacy of the image. A Blind Spot runs from 31 May to 1 July 2012.
As an addition to its on-site events, the festival will launch the online magazine Issue Zero to probe new ways of producing and viewing documentary works in networked environments. A project by Hila Peleg and Florian Schneider, Issue Zero offers an experimental platform for artistic projects on the Internet. A variety of new works especially conceived for the magazine will be presented as well as portrayals of the festival’s events.