Realism appears to have reached a critical juncture in recent years: digital technology has all but usurped the photographic medium, rendering the indexical nature of photographic images obsolete (Doane 2002; Rodowick 2007); “reality” television and on-line exhibitionism have proliferated audiovisual culture, trivializing the fidelity of documentary realism and its particular mode of truth telling; and social realism has gradually detached itself from the socio-political convictions that once defined it, instead looking inward towards private/familial issues removed from the public sphere (Hill 2000; Lay 2002). Yet, despite the tenors of realism being either obfuscated or abated, the term is still employed relatively free from scrutiny in academic discourse, begging the question: what does realism mean today? Is this latest impasse merely a reconfiguration of issues that have always affected the term, or have we shifted into an era of post-realism, typified by a rejection of its historical usage and associations?
These matters are at the crux of our Winter 2011/2012 issue, proposing a re-evaluation of cinematic realism for the 21st century.
Incoming editor: Shaun Inouye
Incoming artist: Hanahlie Beise
More details here