It's The Real Thing 19

  • Basel Documentary Platform
  • Independent Production
  • 2019

For six years, the biennial Swiss festival for documentary and propaganda arts "It’s The Real Thing – Basel Documentary Platform" has been shining a light on the diverse ways in which we produce and depict different realities – whether in politics, the media, science, stories, art or in conversations with one another. In its fourth edition, "It’s The Real Thing" continues this search, this time training its gaze on what seems to be the most resistant of raw materials, one that finds itself at the centre of all realities as well as their depictions and falsifications: the human body.

As both means and end of the political and the economic, the body is the indispensable means of production for the manufacture of reality, while also being permanently subject to negotiation. Bodies are categorised, shaped and formed; they move and are moved, are mobilised and positioned, are coveted or abused; bodies are publicly outed, individually wooed and privately loved. Not least, they have always been something else, too: subjects for artistic treatment.

"It’s The Real Thing" places this mysterious raw material at the centre of debates around reality and identity. The Basel Documentary Platform illuminates what is perhaps the body’s most important quality, its vulnerability, reinterpreting this quality as a skill, as vulnerability – as the potential that turns people into political and poetic entities. The potential to manifest oneself, document oneself, make oneself visible and vulnerable to critique and attack, and thereby to intervene in reality.

Concept, artistic director, curator
Boris Nikitin
Production managment
Clara Becker
Assistant of production
Eva Kern, Eva Heller, Kim Egi
Artist Meeting
Claire Dessimoz, Marcel Schwald
Curation exhibition
Benedikt Wyss mit Samuel Leuenberger & Boris Nikitin
Jaha Koo, Gob Squad, Didier Eribon, Samira Elagoz, Ensemble Kukuruz, Liga Lewis, Markus&Markus, Rabih Mroué, Gabrielle Goliath, Markus Öhrn, Emily Magorrian, Suely Rolnik, Rohit Jain, Klaus Theweleit, Marie Rotkopf, Dirk Cieslak & Melanie Bonajo, Samira Elagoz, Juliana Huxtable, Carolyn Lazard, Leigh Ledare, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Tobias Madison, Markus & Markus, Shayok Mukhopadhyay, Christoph Schlingensief, Martine Syms, Johannes Willi, Sasha Wortzel & Morgan Bassichis, Jannik Giger, Legion Seven und Awet Tesfazgi

A project by It's The Real Thing Studio.
In collaboration with Kaserne Basel, Theater Roxy Birsfelden, SALTS, junges theater Basel

Supported by: Swisslos-Fonds Basel-Stadt, Swisslos-Fonds Basel-Land, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Pro Helvetia, Fondation Nestlé pour l'Art, Christoph Merian Stiftung, Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung, Migros Kulturprozent.