Install Theme

“I do not believe in documentary approaches,” Fontcuberta recently stated in the film made by the Hasselblad Foundation, which accompanied the announcement that he was the recipient of their 2013 International Award in Photography. “Reality does not exist by itself. It’s an intellectual construction; and photography is a tool to negotiate our idea of reality.” For more than thirty years, Fontcuberta has been challenging the veracity of the photographic medium – as well as what Lewis Hine once called society’s “unbounded faith in the integrity of the photograph” – by constructing elaborate documentary-like dossiers that on their surface appear convincing, but upon closer inspection reveal themselves to be satirical and at times rather absurdist fabrications, which cleverly pastiche many of ways in which photography is used to evidence or substantiate a particular reality.

Excerpt from Absurd Fabrication: Fictionalizing Photographer Joan Fontcuberta by Aaron Schuman on TIME Lightbox.

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