This body of work for ‘Intercourse’ explores how documentation commemorates, changes or creates experience, with particular interest in the discrepancies between first and second-hand information. Collectively, lived experience is largely interpreted through an intermediate documentary source such as the media, or word of mouth. A document of an event is inevitably subjective, leaning in a particular direction as information is edited, emphasised and omitted, knowingly or otherwise. No one medium- be it photography, painting, text or sound- can ever be trusted to accurately represent an experience. It can only ever interpret, translate or refer. A document is always something else: an edit, a reconstruction.
I am interested in the trust we put into the media to document the world around us. These investigations have led me down a number of lines of enquiry, with a developing interest in text and how context affects meaning. One piece uses the introductory transcript of Orson Welles’ adaptation of the War of the Worlds for radio. Deliberately timed so that its audience tuned in after a popular show on another channel was over, therefore missing the introduction of the broadcast as a radio play, the recording (allegedly) sent America into frenzy at the prospect of alien invasion. In other work I looked at historical events that were associated with iconic imagery. There are several conspiracy theories and accusations of the 1969 Moon Landing having been staged for political gain. The ink drawings are stills from a scene that supposedly proves this trickery.
Experiences are remembered, retold, rewritten and repeated and so-called ‘facts’ are lost or obscured, strengthening the credibility of misinformation in the process. My brief was to ask the question, How can you document an experience? I have found myself exploring the ways in which creating a ‘true’ document is unattainable and perhaps in some cases, unnecessary.