Joan Fontcuberta

08 April 2014

Exhibitions, Industry news

An eye-opening collection of photographs and artefacts is set to intrigue visitors to the Science Museum this summer as London's Media Space stages the first major UK exhibition by award-winning Catalan artist Joan Fontcuberta. Stranger than Fiction will run from 23 July-9 November 2014, before transferring to the National Media Museum, Bradford from 19 November 2014-8 February 2015. 

Fontcuberta subtly questions the use of the photographic image as evidence, by combining visually compelling and mischievous narratives with an acute, deadpan humour.

With highlights including astonishing photographs of mermaid fossils and incredible reports on mysterious fauna, Stranger Than Fiction presents six conceptually independent narratives from Fontcuberta’s body of work; a visual universe in which the real and the imagined combine to startling effect.

A youth under the Franco dictatorship and an early career in advertising piqued Fontcuberta’s interest in the use of the photographic image as a storytelling tool: an interest which has developed into a life-long creative interrogation of photography’s veracity. In constantly shifting his methods to encompass new developments in photographic practice, Fontcuberta remains one of the most innovative practitioners in his field.

Co-curated by the artist with Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs at the National Media Museum, the exhibition will feature some of Fontcuberta’s best-known works, including photographs, film, dioramas, scientific reports and related ephemera to form the second show in the Science Museum’s 550m² Media Space gallery. Hobson said: 'Fontcuberta’s work is astonishing. It combines articulate and persuasive storytelling with a deep questioning of photography’s role in our understanding of the world.’

Stranger Than Fiction is presented in collaboration with the Government of Catalonia, organiser of the Catalan Tercentenary programme.

Image:  right to left: Centaurus Neandertalensis from the Fauna series by Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera, 1987 © Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera and Braohypoda frustrata from the Herbarium series by Joan Fontcuberta, 1984 © Joan Fontcuberta