A4 Art MuseumEvents
A4AB EventsCommunity Events

A4 x KADIST |Video Library Project

  • Time
    2023.11.09 -11.26
  • Location
    A4 x KADIST Video Library Online Space A4 Art Museum 4F Multipurpose Space
  • Organizers
    A4 Art Museum & KADIST
  • Curator
    Ran Churn
  • Special Guest Artist
    Liu Guangli


Theme: Unknown Truths—A Doubt and Archaeology of Image Authenticity

With the relocation of the A4 Art Museum, we have reorganized and updated the A4 x KADIST Video Library screening program. Starting this year, we plan to invite an artist who is engaged in video research and practice to co-curate and propose an annual theme, selecting films from the KADIST video library for screening and live discussions.

For this first invitation, the curator Ran Chuxun has chosen the complexity of image authenticity as the central discussion point for this screening program. Through both online and offline formats, the program will screen experimental documentaries related to the use of archival and image footage. It explores the complex relationship between reality and fiction under the themes of “Archives and Fiction” and “Private and Public,” challenging the audience’s perceptions of the truthfulness of image documentation.

This screening project is divided into three units:

Online Screening:Curator’s recommendation

Dates: November 19-26 Location: A4 x KADIST Video Library Online Space

Workshop Online:Home-Made

Dates: November 19-26 Location: A4 x KADIST Video Library Online Space

Live Screening Main unit + screening of special guest & talk

Date: November 26 Location: Multipurpose Space, 4F, A4 Art Museum

  • Curator Introduction

    Ran Chuxun (Director and contemporary artist, completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nantes and holds a postgraduate diploma from Le Fresnoy – National Studio of Contemporary Arts in France. She currently resides in Paris, France. Her practice bridges visual arts and cinema, exploring issues within both social and private realms. She aims to liberate film from its narrative aspects, transforming it into a surrealistic collage where each viewer can freely define their own position and perception. Ran is also the initiator of several publishing projects. She has participated in numerous artist residencies, such as La générale in France, FID Campus – Festival International de Cinéma de Marseille in France, and Fieldwork Marfa in the USA.)

  • Curator's Discussion

    Originally, image recording was intended to perfectly reflect reality, and thus photography and videography have been widely used as tools for eyewitness evidence and historical visualization within archival materials. These archival images have become significant materials for artists, who reinterpret them by collecting, collaging, constructing, and reconfiguring existing images, constantly bestowing new meanings upon them. This creative process often challenges the monopoly of official archives and breaks the preconceived notions of archival rigidity. What once seemed like familiar fiction looks like real, replaced by the reality of fictional forms.

    Due to artists’ interventions, the original intent behind images has been dismantled and reassembled. Moreover, given the ubiquity of images and technological breakthroughs guided by image production and dissemination, images are no longer just replicas of reality. “Bad images” manage to escape historical documentation and government surveillance and are repurposed; their dissemination and production often occur simultaneously. The lower the resolution and the poorer the quality, the more real it appears. Virtual reality technology introduces new narrative possibilities, and Jean Baudrillard’s concept of “hyperreality” seems to have become reality, allowing history to be re-enacted and offering us more space to reflect.

    When we decide to discuss the complexity of image authenticity, it seems natural to choose documentaries, a form inherently tied to facts. From their inception, documentaries have been viewed as the “will to power” of their creators, not as “reality.” The knowledge presented in documentaries seems more secure the less safely we can talk about them—all the terms used to describe them become suspect, debatable, and risky. Hito Steyerl mentioned that in our era’s documentary mode, the only certainty is our perpetual doubt of its authenticity. We should embrace the intensity of the truth question, especially in an era where doubt has become commonplace. Constantly questioning whether what we see aligns with reality is not a shameful lack—it must be embraced as a defining quality of contemporary documentary forms.

    The screening will begin with Bady Dalloul’s Scrapbook. The artist questions the logic behind historical narratives through a dialogue between reality and fiction, individual and collective experiences. Though created in 2015, this work unexpectedly resonates with current conflicts, possibly illustrating the surreal impact of art. Dalloul employs a collage of various media: text, painting, video, and objects, creating a space that successfully communicates past and future, embodying autobiography, critique, poetry, and narrative, and thus raising the question: do images represent the truth of our world?

    Following this, What Remains is Future presents in a mysterious way the behind-the-scenes of potential or ongoing events not captured in images, like a leap in time or the reverse side of reality. Laurent Montaro places the film on a trajectory of floating sci-fi narrative without dramatic highs and lows, using a 3D film format to describe the 1937 Hindenburg airship disaster. The visual effects are simple and unique, set in a dreamlike context, as if uncovering a lost piece of evidence.

    Similarly exploring history, Bahar Noorizadeh aims to find our possible futures from directions we seldom discuss—how to escape the current state of digital feudalism using computation, moving towards new utopian possibilities? After Scarcity features complex visual designs that provoke ordinary viewing experiences, successfully blurring the lines between science fiction and history.

    An unnamed man discusses films about the last person on Earth, where the protagonist is the sole survivor post-apocalypse. This is the plot of The Secret Life of Things where John Menick uses another’s voice to express his apocalyptic obsessions—cities without people, useless objects, and insoluble endings. If stories of the future exist in our present, what should we do, what should we dream of?

    Dineo Seshee Bopape’s Why do you call me when you know i can’t answer the phone offers a new perspective on viewing “objects,” not as carriers of symbolism but as components that create spaces for emotional release. The artist deliberately alienates familiar everyday “objects” to create anxiety, using a “chaos” to inspire viewers to think—what really matters?

    From using archives to creating them, Wong Hoy Cheong in Re: Looking fabricates a history of Malaysian kingdoms under Austrian colonial rule. This “documentary” uses a “believably real” filmmaking style, providing incontrovertible evidence for his viewpoints, making viewers question the boundaries between history and fiction.

    Artists link colonialism, post-colonialism, racism, power relations, and empire building to the present, satirically laid bare on the “stage” (television). This inversion of pleasure further confirms the fragile connections between fact and fiction, forgery, and reality.

  • Special Guest Artist Introduction

    Liu Guangli (Liu Guangli was born in 1990 in Lengshuijiang, China, and currently lives and works in Paris. He is passionate about image production and engages in artistic practices involving painting, video art, 3D animation, and virtual reality. His work attempts to question how digital media integrates into contemporary storytelling and the reconstruction of our collective memory. He graduated in 2020 from Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains.)

    The screening concludes with the special guest artist Liu Guangli’s work “Until the Sea Grows a Forest.” The film narrates the memories of a Chinese elder who has lived through disasters. These memories of escape are gradually constructed with images generated by virtual reality software interspersed with historical materials, forming a subjective imagination that continues to produce the present. “Until the Sea Grows a Forest” adds to our understanding of “authenticity”—where virtual and reality are already in the process of producing each other, and falsehood, virtuality, and fiction have long become the foundation of our real lives. Perhaps only by allowing history to “occur” again through virtual reality can we hope to resolve the crisis of trust.

    After the offline screening, artist Liu Guangli and curator Ran Chuxun will connect online across time and space to discuss this session’s theme, creative clues, and background. We have opened a Q&A window in the online space, inviting everyone to ask questions after viewing the film. These questions will be incorporated into their discussion.

  • Epilogue

    What, then, is indestructible? Perhaps it is our uncertainty, doubt, and perplexity.

    In a workshop that concluded not long ago, one student emphasized to me that he would absolutely not use videos from unknown sources on the internet—not because of a strong sense of copyright, but because he was unsure of the video’s authenticity. In less than half an hour, another student shared with me the reason she canceled her trip—she had seen a video of local violence that had gone viral on the internet.

    His disbelief and her belief might be the most precise and swift examples we received after deciding on this screening plan. True or false, swinging back and forth. We see images, share images, download images, produce images, and disseminate images. At which step does the truth disappear, or perhaps the truth never existed at all? If a medium is a source of information, a carrier, and a means of dissemination, then perhaps truth was never there or was never important from the start.

    Images shape our reality, help us easily reach the truth, and also lead us to doubt the truth. Our every act of thinking is not to discover the truth, but to gain the courage to face a possibly scarred truth and to meet a future inevitably fraught with crises.