Please note: ICA is currently closed for installation.
Join us on March 10 for the opening of our Spring 2023 season, featuring
Carolyn Lazard: Long Take & Terence Nance: Swarm.
Jan 11–Mar 4, 2012

Living Document / Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema


Landscapes from the twenties clicking by on carousel projectors. Old home movies of life in French-colonized Morocco. A collage of clips from 200 films, taking us on a drive through glittering Los Angeles. These and other projects are part of the exhibition Living Document / Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema presented by ICA. This exhibition explores cinema’s complex political, formal, and ideological history from the 1910s to the 1960s by showcasing the work of six international artists. Each uses archival material to convey both a critique and a nostalgia for the outmoded film technologies and abandoned idealism of a previous era. Living Document / Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema opens on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, with a reception from 6:00–8:00 p.m., and will remain on view in ICA’s Project Space through March 4, 2012.

In their influential manifesto, “Toward a Third Cinema,” filmmakers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Gettino state: “The capacity for synthesis and the penetration of the film image, the possibilities offered by the living document and naked reality, and the power of enlightenment of audiovisual means make the film far more effective than any other tool of communication.” Each work in this exhibition explores a thread from this essay that applies to all of the works in different ways.

Sun, Dec 11, 2011, 3PM
Excursus I: Dead Flowers
Wed, Jan 11, 2012, 6PM
Opening and Walkthrough: Winter 2012
Sat, Jan 14, 2012, 1PM
Screening: Los Angeles Plays Itself
Sat, Feb 4, 2012, 2PM
Excursus II: Tea & Conversation
Wed, Feb 22, 2012, 6:30PM
Excursus II: Ciné-Tracts
Wed, Feb 29, 2012, 2PM
Excursus II: MAI de 1968
Books & Editions
Living Document The Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema book cover
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Publication Date
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ICA acknowledges the generous sponsorship of Barbara B. & Theodore R. Aronson for the exhibition pamphlet. We are grateful for the support of The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; The Dietrich Foundation, Inc.; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art; friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania. General operating support provided, in part, by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. ICA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Screenings are in collaboration with International House Philadelphia and UPenn Cinema Studies.