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Truth or Dare
Art and Documentary
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Price £26.50, $35.50
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ISBN 9781841501758
Paperback 144 pages
Published November 2007
Imprint: Intellect
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Edited by Gail Pearce and Cahal McLaughlin
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

Increased experimentation by film-makers such as Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock means that the walls between art and documentary are collapsing, generating innovative ideas and attracting an entirely new audience.

Truth or Dare is the innovative product of a Whitechapel Gallery conference, bringing together renowned artists, film-makers, writers and curators. Pearce and McLaughlin’s book reveals the debates that flared that day surrounding the binary of art and documentary and the tensions of freedom and responsibility. The ethics of this new wave of documentary are also questioned, since the authenticity of documentary seems to clash with the experimentation and imagination of art.

As the distinction between different art forms becomes more and more blurred, Truth or Dare explores the shift from two separate entities of documentary film and contemporary art to the obscuring of boundaries. The discussion extends to new technological developments that allow cross-over and opportunities for collaboration. All of these issues are explored in written chapters and edited transcripts of conversation from the conference, illustrated with stills of moving image work and accompanied by a DVD of the artists’ experimentation.

This is a unique and timely collection of reflection and analysis by documentary-makers and artists concerning where they position their art forms in relation to each other, and the shape of film-making to come. The cross-disciplinary opinions and mixed media format of Truth or Dare engages the reader, so that they too become part of the ongoing debate.

Chapter titles
Chapter 1: 'Away from Copying: The Art of Documentary Practice' - Page 13
Michael Renov, professor at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.
Chapter 2: 'Freedoms and Accountabilities' - Page 25
Cahal McLaughlin (interlocutor), Sergei Dvortsevoy, Clarisse Hahn, Ann-Sofi Siden in conversation
Chapter 3: 'Documentary, History and Reality: Reflections on Jean Chamoun's Tal al-Zaatar' - Page 47
Lina Khatib, lecturer at the Department of Media Arts, Royal Holloway University of London
Chapter 4: 'Dancing to Different Tunes: Ethical Differences in Approaches to Factual Film-Making' - Page 57
John Ellis, professor of Media Arts at Royal Holloway University of London
Chapter 5: 'Collaborations and Technologies' - Page 65
Stella Bruzzi (interlocutor), Gideon Koppel, Jane and Louise Wilson in conversation
Chapter 6: 'Is it Art?' - Page 81
Gail Pearce, lecturer in Contemporary Media Art at Royal Holloway University of London
Chapter 7: 'Viewing Spaces and Audiences' - Page 91
Gareth Evans (interlocutor), Nina Pope, Claudia Spinelli in conversation
Chapter 8: 'Vietnam/USA' - Page 105
Trinh T. Minh-ha in an interview by Eva Hohenberger, lecturer in Media Studies at the Ruhr University Bochum
'[It] conveys the energy, ambition and integrity of those who contributed to it. ' – Scott Colfer,

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