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Conference: “There is no such thing as documentary”
Conference: “There is no such thing as documentary”
26 Jan 2021 - 27 Jan 2021
26 Feb 2021, Fri 04:00 PM - 07:00 PM
27 Feb 2021, Sat 01:30 PM - 07:00 PM


Registration will be open soon.

Co-organised by Dr Erika Balsom (Canada/United Kingdom), Prof Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Dr Marc Glöde (Germany/Singapore), and Dr Ella Raidel (Austria/Singapore)

As the concluding programme of the exhibition Trinh T. Minh-ha. Films., this four-part conference brings together scholars and practitioners across filmic, anthropological and curatorial disciplines, addressing notions of multivocality, performativity, and truth in fiction, through Trinh’s practice as a filmmaker and theorist.

As Trinh wrote: “There is no such thing as documentary…The words will not ring true.” Both a response and homage to Trinh’s provocation, and at once a close but also an opening, the conference extends multiple threads of inquiry beyond the ontological frames presented in Trinh’s films, to further explore the theoretical parallels and proximities between arrangement and composition, territorialisation and deterritorisalisation, that underscore Trinh’s cinematic works.


Friday, 26 February 2021, 4.00 – 7.00pm SGT

Session 1: Speaking Nearby chaired by Dr Erika Balsom (Canada/United Kingdom), Reader, Film Studies, KCL

4.00 – 4.15pm                Welcome address
4.15 – 4.30pm                Introduction
4.30 – 5.15pm                Keynote Lecture by Dr Erika Balsom
5.15 – 5.45pm                Break
5.45 – 6.15pm                Presentation by Prof Chris Berry (United Kingdom), Professor, Film Studies, KCL
6.15 – 6.45pm                Presentation by Dr Nicolas Helm-Grovas (Spain/United Kingdom), Lecturer, Film Studies, KCL
6.45 – 7.00pm                Response by Dr Daniel Mann (Israel/United Kingdom), Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, KCL

Saturday, 27 February 2021, 1.30 – 7.00pm SGT

1.30 – 2.00pm                Introduction / Recap

Session 2: Filmic Interferences chaired by Dr Marc Glöde (Germany/Singapore), Assistant Professor, NTU ADM

2.00 – 2.15pm              Introduction
2.15 – 2.45pm              Presentation by Tan Pin Pin (Singapore), film director
2.45 – 3.15pm              Presentation by Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam), artist and filmmaker
3.15 – 3.30pm              Response by Dr David Teh (Australia/Singapore), Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, NUS
3.30 – 3.45pm             Break

Session 3: Performing the Documents chaired by Dr Ella Raidel (Austria/Singapore), Assistant Professor, NTU ADM and WKWSCI

3.45 – 4.00pm             Introduction
4.00 – 4.30pm             Presentation by Dr Philippa Lovatt (Scotland), Lecturer, Film Studies, University of St Andrews
4.30 – 5.00pm             Presentation by Rosalia Namsai Engchuan (Germany/Thailand), anthropologist and filmmaker
5.00 – 5.15pm             Response by Silke Schmickl (Germany/Singapore), Curator, National Gallery Singapore
5.15 – 5.30pm             Break

Session 4: Reverberations—Spatialising the Temporal, the Sonic, and the Pictorial chaired by Prof Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Professor, NTU ADM and Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore

5.30 – 5.45pm             Introduction
5.45 – 6.15pm              Presentation by Larys Frogier (France/China), Director, Rockbund Art Museum (RAM)
6.15 – 6.45pm              Presentation by Iris Dressler (Germany), Co-director, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (WKV)
6.45 – 7.00pm              Response by Dr Karin Oen (United States/Singapore), Deputy Director, NTU CCA Singapore

Presented in collaboration with Kings’ College London (KCL), United Kingdom

Supported by Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore


Image: Trinh T. Minh-ha., What About China? (Part I of II, 2020–21), film still. Courtesy the artist.

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore)
Research Centre & Office Block 6 Lock Road Singapore 108934

NTU CCA Singapore Research Centre and Office
Block 6 Lock Road, #01-09/10, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108934
Mon - Fri: 10am - 7.00pm


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