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JOAN FONTCUBERTA
[b. 1955] conceptual artist
Every photograph is a fiction with pretensions to truth. Despite everything that we have been inculcated, all that we believe, photography always lies; it lies instinctively, lies because its nature does not allow it to do anything else. - Joan Fontcuberta

Photography… has lived under the tyranny of its subject matter: the object has exercised an almost total domination. - Joan Fontcuberta

I have always thought that the photographer does artistic work and that art consists of working with fictional premises. - Joan Fontcuberta

The heart [of my work], the quintessential, remains the questioning of photographic truth. Be careful, be critical, doubt, and filter the information you receive. - Joan Fontcuberta

There are religions in which the representation of the world is banned as an usurpation of the power of a God, creator of all things. It is very possible that photography is a trick of the devil and each shot is a sin. - Joan Fontcuberta

I need there to be documentary photographers, because my work is meta-documentary; it is a commentary about the documentary use of photography. - Joan Fontcuberta

Among photojournalists there is still a sense that doing a photomontage is far graver than adding a filter. I am against this type of hierarchy that demonizes some options over others, demonizes them in respect to, what—ideology or moral code? - Joan Fontcuberta

Photography mirrored the [nineteenth century] will towards rigor, towards defining details, the need for miniscule description, the long-distance optics, for technology at the service of truth, for concepts of credibility, of objectivity, the need to archive, for the consolidation of institutions like the museum, in short, towards a need to control memory... - Joan Fontcuberta

The dramatic metamorphosis from the grain of silver to the pixel represents nothing more than a screen that conceals the evolution taking place in the whole framework that provided photography with a cultural, instrumental, and historical context. - Joan Fontcuberta

Everybody has Photoshop at home and even children have fun distorting their own snapshots, so that the notion of respect for an image as testimony does not have a leg to stand on because we have learned how easy it is to manipulate images. - Joan Fontcuberta

I’m not interested in photography because of the camera, lenses, and developing processes, but because it is the repository for all of those intellectual conflicts, all of the problems human have had to deal with in these last decades. I think the twentieth century has been defined by that vision, the photographic culture. - Joan Fontcuberta

Photography is written; photography has a narrative structure, it is articulated like any other system of signs. An individual photograph is, for me, a line of prose that should come before and come after others with the intention of stating something complex. - Joan Fontcuberta

Photography begins as an informational medium and is transformed into a work that people go to see looking for aesthetic and emotional values as a way of participating in an artistic experience. - Joan Fontcuberta

The idea that photography lies is based on a complete misunderstanding of what photography actually is or does. Photographs, by themselves, don’t do anything. They’re just photographs. But they can be made to tell a story or tall tale or outright lie when they are being placed in context, when they’re used to tell a story that might or might not be true. - Joan Fontcuberta

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