Joan Fontcuberta

Joan Fontcuberta (1955) is a Spanish artist, self-described as “a conceptual artist using photography.” Through his works he examines the truthfulness of photography and investigates photography’s authority and the human inclination to believe what we see. Contradiction, playfulness, conflict and the possible – all form the territory on which his works are situated. He is known for his projects such as Herbarium (1984), Fauna (1987), Sputnik (1997), Sirens (2000), Gastropoda (2013) and Trauma (2016). Fontcuberta sees himself as a self-educated photographer, inspired by the Dadaists and Situationists. He is also a teacher, editor, curator and writer.

Reading time: 18 minutes
A verofiction is a fiction that hides its illusory condition and is received and regarded as actually real until it is unmasked.

Summary

In the interview Spanish photographer Joan Fontcuberta reflects upon his diverse photographic practise and his constant playing on the idea of different spaces which photography inhabits. He claims that “Photography by itself doesn’t mean anything,” what makes a difference is managing its uses. He discusses the topics of reformulation of the concept of authorship, notion of the fake as a methodology of art and of political activism, parody and humour as long traditions of Mediterranean thought and a rejection of pleasure as a hegemonic current in contemporary art. He also speaks of his explorations of the relationship between nature photography and nature of photography, the Eden of Adam and Eve as the first botanical garden and the fact that today nature has become a cultural, ideological, economic and political construct. In the end he also touches on the phenomenon of the internet, ideas of post-truth and his concept of Homo photographicus.

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