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Something you should see… Joan Fontcuberta: Stranger Than Fiction at the Science Museum

Although photography has been, since its development, a tool by which to support a real moment in time, it has also been a deceptive tool that can easily mislead its viewer. The debate of truth in photography is as old as its years but it never fails to fascinate thanks to the mediums illusionary qualities. Joan Fontcuberta, the next artist to feature in the Science Museum’s Media Space, presents his photography work that speaks of exactly this tension. Believing himself to be a conceptual artist working in photography, this Spanish artist uses the truth qualities of the medium to produce humorous and playful musings of reality.

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The Miracle of Dolphin-Surfing, 2002, Joan Fontcuberta. © Joan Fontcuberta

Having grown up during the Franco fascist rule in Spain, Fontcuberta believes much of his inspiration comes from a suspicion of authority. The evidential qualities of photography and its use to support our understanding of reality, plays a major part in his work. Working along a range of narratives, his images aim to disrupt these authoritative stories, usually drawing on recognisable, powerful voices from our society. Science, nature and even Google all appear.

The artist has been working in this field for many years but this exhibition represents his first in the UK. He has exhibited across the globe and extensively in the US. He founded the magazine Photovision in 1980, and still remains the magazine’s editor-in-chief. He has worked as a curator and teacher in the field since the late 70s, and has won countless awards, including the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 2013. This exhibition represents a unique opportunity to witness a master of his medium. (Words: Laura Thornley)

From 23 July – 9 November. For more info visit: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

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