True Fake: Troubling the Real in Artists’ Films

True Fake: Troubling the Real in Artists’ Films


Sondra Perry, It’s in the Game ‘17 (clip), 2017. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

April 20, 2021
True Fake: Troubling the Real in Artists’ Films
Last day repeat screenings
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Join us on e-flux Video & Film for the last day of the series True Fake: Troublng the Real in Artists’ Films convened by Lukas Brasiskis

The series, which launched on February 9, 2021, concludes today with a repeat of all twenty films featured in Parts One through Five—available Tuesday, April 20 through noon EST on Wednesday, April 21.

True Fake has featured films and video works by Larry Achiampong and David BlandyPeggy AhweshEric BaudelaireFilipa César and Louis HendersonMicaela Durand and Daniel ChewHarun FarockiOmer FastJohan GrimonprezLouis HendersonChris KennedyManu LukschSara MagenheimerChris MarkerJesse McLeanAlison NguyenSondra PerryForensic Architecture and Praxis FilmsWalid RaadHito Steyerl, and Peter Watkins; and a discussion with Tess Takahashi and participating artists.

Thank you for watching!

Part One | Simulations and (Hyper)Reality

Harun Farocki, Parallel II and Parallel III, 2014 (16 minutes)
Peggy Ahwesh, The Falling Sky, 2017 (10 minutes)
Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, Finding Fanon 2, 2015 (9:13 minutes)
Sondra Perry, It’s in the Game ’17, 2017 (16:32 minutes)

Part Two | Virtually Yours 

Chris Marker, Level Five, 1997 (110 minutes)
Alison Nguyen, every dog has its day, 2019 (6:38 minutes)
Daniel Chew and Micaela Durand, First, 2019 (11:53 minutes)
Jesse McLean, Sea a Dog, Hear a Dog, 2016 (17:41 minutes)

Part Three | Tracking the Coded Real

Manu Luksch, Algo-Rhythm, 2019 (13:51 minutes)
Louis Henderson, Black Code/Code Noir, 2015 (10:50 minutes)
Forensic Architecture and Praxis Films, Triple Chaser, 2019 (10:35 minutes)
Chris Kennedy, Watching the Detectives, 2017 (36:50 minutes)

Part Four | Optics of Truth: Media and Alternative Facts

Filipa César and Louis Henderson, Sunstone, 2018 (35 minutes)
Sara Magenheimer, Art and Theft, 2017 (7:22 minutes)
Johan Grimonprez, Blue Orchids, 2017 (47:38 minutes)
Hito Steyerl, How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File, 2013 (15:52 minutes)

Part Five | Faux Documentary and Complex Reality

Peter Watkins, The War Game, 1966 (46:11 minutes)
Eric Baudelaire, The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27 Years without Images, 2011 (65:40 minutes)
Walid Raad, The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs, 1999 (16:57 minutes)
Omer Fast, 5000 Feet is the Best, 2011 (32:12 minutes)
Staying with the Troubled Real: Before and After Post-Truth: Discussion with Eric Baudelaire, David Blandy, Sara Magenheimer, Alison Nguyen, and Tess Takahashi, moderated by Lukas Brasiskis (archived)

About the program  
The unparalleled technological change happening over the past decades has caused a drastic shift in the perception and experience of reality. In the 1990s and early 2000s, traditional certitudes were cast into doubt indicating that belief in factual truths became just an option among a wide variety of angles and perspectives on the real. Consequently, academic discussions about the crisis of truth found resonance in the art world. A number of artists started to make works reflecting on or criticizing the “post-truth” discourse, causing what art critics and historians call the “documentary turn in contemporary art.” However, in the last ten years, when scientific facts about the irreversibility of global climate change have coincided with the unprecedented growth of science denialism, and when a reactionary rhetoric of “alternative facts” as well as the online spread of “fake news” have become a real threat to democracy, the question of the relationship between reality, mediated facts, and identity begs to be reconsidered.

Responding to the current political, technological, and environmental conditions, this series of screenings programmed by Lukas Brasiskis highlights 20 contemporary and historically important films and videos that examine unstable boundaries between fact and fiction, nature and artifice, objectivity and subjectivity, mediation and exposition. The title True Fake has been chosen as a statement alluding to audiovisual images perceived as fabricated or non-indexical and yet that surpass a simple true/false, documentary/fiction division.

Accompanying the series is a complementary e-flux journal reader dedicated to further inquiry around the often unstable and ambiguous relationship between reality and documentary facts; as well as a discussion with Brasiskis, scholar Tess Takahashi, and some of the particpating artists.

For more information, see the True Fake series page, or contact program [​at​]

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April 20, 2021

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