Practical Truths includes the work of Jacob Cartwright & Nick Jordan, Jenna Collins, G. Leddington, Olivia Plender and Ben Rivers whose work is represented in film, sculpture and photography. The show explores issues around methods of documentation that attempt to grasp the dichotomy of the individual and the universal revealing various truths about human culture. The works in Practical Truths often use narratives that focus on individuals or communities that sit uncomfortably with the demands of conventional living and thereby convey a timeless sentiment that is neither defined within the present-day nor within a specific historic decade.
Several of the works subvert the notion of the ‘documenter’ as a neutral ‘recorder’, either illuminating or masking the wider cultural and social background against which the film or image is shot. Furthermore, they convey an awareness of the artwork as a constructed narrative and play with our preconceptions of ‘documenting’ as ‘objective’, demoting it to a mere illusion.
Other work re-stages or reconstructs past events that cannot be exclusively categorised as non-fiction and reflect a scepticism of fixed concepts of facts and history that are perceived as absolute. All the works in Practical Truths are informed by idiosyncratic or personal narratives that explore the role of subjectivity in methods of documentation, and questions the assumed veracity that visual culture carries.