Beginning with Richard Drew’s controversial photograph of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, Learning How to Fall investigates the changing relationship between world events and their subsequent documentation, asking:
Does the mediatization of the event overwhelm the fact of the event itself?
How does the mode by which information is disseminated alter the way in which we perceive such information?
How does this impact upon our memory of an event?
T. Nikki Cesare Schotzko posits contemporary art and performance as not only a stylized re-envisioning of daily life but, inversely, as a viable means by which one might experience and process real-world political and social events. This approach combines two concurrent and contradictory trends in aesthetics, narrative, and dramaturgy: the dramatization of real-world events so as to broaden the commercial appeal of those events in both mainstream and alternative media, and the establishment of a more holistic relationship between politically and aesthetically motivated modes of disseminating and processing information.
By presenting engaging and diverse case studies from both the art world and popular culture – including Aliza Shvarts’s censored senior thesis at Yale University, Kerry Skarbakka’s provocative photographs of falling, Didier Morelli’s crawl through Toronto, and Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom – Learning How to Fall creates a new understanding of the relationship between the event and its documentation, where even the truth of an event might be called into question.
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