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Creature with wings and fur body

Joan Fontcuberta: Stranger Than Fiction

Discover Fontcuberta's photographic images in his first major UK exhibition

After it's celebrated run at the Science Museum, you
can now see Joan Fontcuberta: Stranger Than Fiction
at the National Media Museum
from 20 November 2014 – 5 February 2015


Discover the incredible fictions of Joan Fontcuberta in his first major UK exhibition, featuring six documentary narratives that mix fact with fiction and science with art. Using the visual languages of journalism, advertising, museum displays and scientific journals, these convincing yet subversive and deadpan works are an investigation into photography's authority and our inclination to believe what we see. 

'Photography is a tool to negotiate our idea of reality. Thus it is the responsibility of photographers to not contribute with anaesthetic images but rather to provide images that shake consciousness.'
Joan Fontcuberta

Exhibition highlights include astonishing photographs of mermaid fossils, incredible reports of mysterious fauna and eye-opening photographs of rare plant species.

‘He makes you doubt everything, leaving you in an unclaimed grey zone that is both strange and sublime.’ ★ ★ ★ ★ (Time Out )

‘A fantastic exhibition.’ ★ ★ ★ ★ (The Daily Telegraph)

‘The exhibition is visually arresting, subversively humorous, and infernally clever. It is also deeply unsettling.’  (CNN International)

‘Amusing and dead-pan, skilfully inventive and perfectly narrated: this exhibition is a fascinating puzzle.’ ★ ★ ★ ★ (Evening Standard)

‘It’s a brilliant show, in which entertainment and philosophy complement each other to perfection, with neither given weight beyond the other.’ (Financial Times)


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About the exhibition

  • The curious creatures of the mysterious Prof Peter Ameisenhaufen’s lost archive are featured in the Fauna series.
    Credits : Cercophitecus Icarocornu from the Fauna series by Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera, 1985. © Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera
  • The Herbarium series features beautiful and eye-opening photographs of rare plant species.
    Credits : Braohypoda Frustrata from the Herbarium series by Joan Fontcuberta, 1984. © Joan Fontcuberta
  • Contemporary artistic landscapes are brought to vivid life by Fontcuberta with the computer language of geographers in the Orogenesis series.
    Credits : Watkins, 2004 from the Orogenesis series by Joan Fontcuberta. © Joan Fontcuberta
  • In Mu Draconis Fontcuberta creates magnificent images of starry skies that invite consideration of our relationship with pictures and what they represent.
    Credits : Mu Draconis (Mags 5.7 5.7) from the Constellations series by Joan Fontcuberta. © Joan Fontcuberta
  • Documentary photos of astonishing fossil discoveries that could show the evolutionary link between fish and man are featured in the Sirens series.
    Credits : Hydropithecus of Cerro de San Vicente, from the Sirens series by Joan Fontcuberta, 2006. © Joan Fontcuberta
  • The Karelia series features Fontcuberta’s exposé of a Finnish monastery where it is said monks learn how to perform miracles.
    Credits : The Miracle of Dolphin-Surfing, 2002, Joan Fontcuberta. © Joan Fontcuberta

Trailer for Stranger Than Fiction

Find out the inspiration behind Fontcuberta's incredible fictions

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

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