RAM Talk：When Narration Meets Reality: An Analysis of Narration Strategies in Documentaries
Apr 20, 2019 Saturday 16:00 - 17:30
Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District)
Whether it is butcher shop on the first floor and the social sculpture bar Forbidden in Heaven, Useless in Hell (El Redomon version) on the sixth floor wrapped in dazzling camouflage patterns, or the pixels series on the fifth floor, Tobias Rehberger is exploring how people interact with the external environment and space, trying to differentiate between reality and illusion. The portrait vases series “truly” reproduces a community of artists and friends associated with the artist in the form of flower-adorned sculptures.
In another public event during the exhibition, the documentary Chew The Fat by Rirkrit Tiravanija was screened. Nowadays, people are accustomed to watching videos, and they may think that documentaries, distinct from fictional works, are the closest to reality. Documentary is a narrative of reality/history. Its narrative consciousness runs through the whole process of documentary creation. During the shooting, the narrative consciousness determines when to switch on and off, how to view the scene, and how to present the relationship with the subjects being shot. During the editing, the narrative strategy determines the viewpoint, structure, rhythm, meaning and overall style of the documentary.
This talk will analyze the narrative strategy of a documentary from four levels: plot setting at the narrative level; subjects and narrative time as “historical participants” in the index field of reality/history; the symbol of subjects’ identity and the meaning of the text structure; the poetic or ironic effect of documentary narration on reality/history. Thus, audiences are invited to think about what is true from these different angles.
Sun Hongyun, Associate Professor at China Film Culture Institute of Beijing Film Academy. She holds a Ph.D. in Film Studies from Beijing Normal University, and is a postdoctoral researcher at China Film Art Research Center and a visiting scholar at New York University. Long committed to research in the creation and theories of documentaries, Sun has published over 40 papers on academic journals covered by the Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index, and 3 papers on international journals. She has also presided over one national research project and several projects at the provincial/ministerial level.
Free admission, reservation is required.