The Shape of Evidence
Contemporary Art and the Document
By Sophie Berrebi.
The first in Valiz's new vis-ŕ-vis series of accessible introductions to academic subjects in contemporary art, architecture and design, The Shape of Evidence examines the use of the document in contemporary art, focusing on artworks in which the seemingly straightforward document is valued not only as a source of information but also as a distinctive visual and critical form. The author, Amsterdam-based art historian Sophie Berrebi, contends that for artists using filmed, photographic or written sources, the document can offer a way to develop a critical position on issues of representation, knowledge production, art and art history. Touching on several key issues in contemporary art—the trustworthiness of documents, the role of the museum and the archive—the author builds her argument through a close reading of select works of art by Christopher Williams, Fiona Tan, Zoe Leonard, Sven August˙nen, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Jean-Luc Moulčne, illustrated throughout the text.