Thoughts: The Importance of Documentation and Lies

by Beauchamp Art

There seems little purpose in doing a performance that is unrecorded in a modern environment: Nothing is said to have happened unless it is online – “it’s not officially until it’s on Facebook” goes the modern idiom – Richard Nixon’s observation that people do not believe anything until they see it on television is a fitting precursor to this attitude. The undocumented event is one that did not happen; or cannot be proved to have happened.
People are often more willing to accept what they have been told over what they have seen.

Similarly, Joseph Goebbels [Hitler’s propaganda minister] once said that “The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed” – men seen as evil in history are often those that know the most about lies.

One could see look to George Orwell’s 1984 for much written about the value of documentation in fact, and history – “He who controls the past, controls the future“.

Documentation and lies are interwoven in their importance not only to the Historian, but to the Artist, as a mirror on which to reflect the social history of peoples that may be overlook in traditional academical anthropological research.

Much as the role of the story teller in history is paramount, the embellishments of literal fact become literary fact, the artist should not be limited to showing; but telling, expressing, expanding…