This free event takes place at Bar Laika (224 Greene Ave, Brooklyn).

Each edition of Art of the Real features a selection of Spotlights that take a closer look at a range of practices in experimental documentary. This year, we collaborate with e-flux Bar Laika to present two spotlight events with the artist and filmmaker Eric Baudelaire and the scholar and critic Erika Balsom.

This talk will consider how and why hybridity, fiction, and “blurring boundaries” have figured as recurring preoccupations in critical and curatorial efforts to conceptualize the vitality of experimental documentary practices. Looking to the limits of this discourse, it will explore how some artists and filmmakers have turned to the very different strategies of description and observation, finding in them the possibility of asserting belief in reality at a time of its supposed collapse.

Erika Balsom is a senior lecturer in Film Studies and Liberal Arts at King’s College London and the author of After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation (2017) and Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art (2013); the co-editor of Documentary Across Disciplines (2016); and a frequent contributor to magazines such as Artforum, frieze, and Sight & Sound.