With each edition of the festival, True/False reinvents itself aesthetically based on a provoking prompt that we take on as our visual theme. Visual artists help us transform downtown Columbia into a wonderland of art in dialogue, each piece responding to different facets of the overarching prompt. Each year, we encourage artists to use the visual theme as inspiration in addition to the ever-present ideas and mission of the festival (broadly, an immersive artistic experience that seeks to transform the everyday).

We’re pleased to announce the visual theme for 2019 is STRANGER <-> HOST


Both “stranger” and “host” contain contradictions — “stranger” brings up menacing images as well as the exciting, the new, an adventure; while “host” invokes welcoming, open arms, but also parasites and invading armies. We are interested in provoking artists to explore the tensions inherent within the phrase “stranger <-> host.” Clearly, our binary understanding of this oppositional pair – the outsider and the insider – is fast evolving into a multi-directional relationship.

The idea of unbidden guests feels particularly rich in the nonfiction world, in which some filmmakers embed themselves in strangers’ lives in order to reveal messy truths, while others dredge up truths from within.

Visually, we imagine explorations of evocative relationships ranging from the human microbiome to the extraterrestrial outer limits. We encourage artwork that plays in the no-man’s-land between borders (like the slash in T/F) – liminal spaces where our assumptions can be upended.