‘Fiction as a Visual Strategy in the Photobook. How Contemporary Photographers Challenge the Documentary Genre through the Printed Page’ is an essay written shortly after the symposium ‘The Individual, The Political and The Photobook’ (2018), organized by Stefan Vanthuyne as part of his research project at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.
It takes its starting point from a conversation he moderated moderated between Max Pinckers, Laia Abril and Alejandro Cartagena. The essay is published in When Fact is Fiction. Documentary Art in the Post-Truth Era, edited by Nele Wynants and published by Valiz, Amsterdam (2020).
From the publisher:
“What is the value of fiction at a time when fake news, alternative facts, and infotainment undermine the integrity of politics and media? This question is the common thread of When Fact is Fiction. It brings together contributions by and about artists who probe the boundaries between fact and fiction. The ambiguous relationship between the documentary and the imaginary has been investigated and questioned within the arts for decades. The artists discussed in this volume deliberately blur the boundaries between what is generally known as ‘fiction’ and as ‘reality’. They share a fascination with the same problem: the impossible challenge of representing reality. Their artistic re-interpretation of oral and archival sources often has an explicit critical potential to rewrite history, rethink our present time or imagine possible futures.”