Documentary is one of my favorite media forms. People can gain information as well as experience entertainment during a documentary. To most people, they take what they see in the documentary as a “real” story. To those audiences, “documentary have a claim to truth, a claim to honesty, objectivity and veracity”(Kitty Zulmans, Documentary Evidence), documenters need to fine a way to maintain the original idea as much as possible. However, no matter how “real” it is, a documentary is no doubt a result of personal intelligence and media technology. As Kitty Zulmans claims in Documentary Evidence : what the viewer takes as reality is in fact a reality seen by someone else; it is a second order observation. When documentary comes to art works, this theory seems to be more obvious. The art work itself is the original information given by the artist. If a filmmaker wants to make a documentary about that, he or she is actually re-creating the work. They more or less put their thought and understanding of the work in the documentary. As I as I’m concerned, a successful documentary about art conveys proper idea of the initial work and is wisely reconstituted by logical organization and creativity.
Back to those tow documentaries directed by Arun Khopkar, I should say, I really like them. In Figures of Thought, the idea of placing the three artists to work on a glass mural then zero into each one is creative and reasonable. In this way, Arun relates the individual smoothly. Turn visual art, which is still, into documentary film is not easy. Arun uses sound, music, light, animation and oral introduction to give information about the paintings and relevant artists. Then, the still, untouchable, abstract work becomes alive and understandable. As for Volume Zero, many more narrative methods have been used. Arun broads the information through interview, live action, diagrams, animation etc. Though it is a documentary about an architect and his work, the documentary not only pays attention to the life story and architectural structure, but also the society background and culture or science demands. These extended information is what the filmmaker believes important to express, is his understanding of the work.
To sum up, documentary needs to be relatively real and creative. When documentary come to associate with art works, the other art and data methods are counted in, as animation, music and graphs.