Beyond the demand for clear visibility and readability, many current documentary discourses are broaching the issue of their own contextuality as a precondition for meaning and effectiveness. Meaning develops via every publication context, every reception and every way of reading and seeing. It is not fixed, but rather fluid; it circulates and migrates. In the combination of various forms of documentation and testimony, current projects are thus focusing on image-text combinations and their complementarity. In doing so, they reflect that no document or testimony can convey direct evidence of its own accord, but instead will always include the possibility of fiction as well.
Moving beyond the idea of a comparison of image-based and text-based media, the symposium will examine the entirety and complexity of the relationships of image and text in projects particularly from the area of the photobook, but also in multimedia, film, comic and the narrative forms of the archive. The main focus of attention here will be the question of what consequences follow from the ‘suturing of image and text’ with respect to concepts of testimony and documentarism. Can the idea of the complementarity of testimonies navigate the gulf between positions of absolutised truth and relativism?

Programme available for download: image/con/text_programm.pdf

The symposium “image/con/text. Complementary Testimonies in Documentary Discourse” will take place on 29th and 30th of October 2019 in Hanover at the Faculty III, Media, Information and Design, of the Hochschule Hannover – University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Free admission.