Joan Fontcuberta: The Photography of Nature / The Nature of Photography

“Joan Fontcuberta is one of the most highly acclaimed international wildlife photographer” it says somewhere in The Photography of Nature & The Nature of Photography, so it’s got to be true. Just like the story about the fossils of mermaids at the end of which this sentence leads off the author’s bio. You might now be tempted to inject that mermaids don’t exist and never did. But Fontcuberta has pictures, and the article, convincingly written, makes a strong case in point. There are quite a few other things you didn’t know about in the book. There’s a early-evolution centaur, where you have a monkey instead of a human torso attached to a horse (any biologists reading this will please forgive my somewhat sloppy description). Or there’s Soviet cosmonaut Ivan Istochnikov, lost in space (along with his companion, a dog named Kloka).

Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta is the 33rd recipient of the prestigious Hasselblad
Foundation International Award in Photography.

To celebrate the award MACK and The Hasselblad Foundation are publishing a collection of
six of Fontcuberta’s most iconic series including: Herbarium (1984) and Fauna (1987), dealing
with botanical and biological findings of newly discovered species; Constellations (1993),
images of previously undiscovered stars and their stardust; Sputnik (1997), which tells the tale
of a Russian cosmonaut still lost in space; also included are Sirens (2000), an investigative
project for National Geologic on the finding of the Hydropithecus (mermaid) fossils, and
Orogenesis (2002) in which Fontcuberta explores landscapes using Terragen technologies.

Fontcuberta’s photography is itself about photography’s own workings, and with each series
he challenges the audience’s trust in the veracity of the medium and its function as a system
of representation. Confronting our anxieties about that system, Fontcuberta’s careful
fabrications are laced with clues and inconsistencies – the photographer himself even
appears, disguised as Hans von Kubert or Joan Fontana. In exposing the various artifices of
the photographic medium, he asks how and why photography acquires a seductive
truthfulness in the eyes of its viewers. As Jorge Wagensberg suggests, ‘The mere possibility
that it could be a Fontcuberta is an invitation to think; in other words, it makes the believer
sceptical and the incredulous believe’.

© Joan Fontcuberta

The book is a survey of Fontcuberta’s oeuvre displaying his genius as photographer, essayist,
humorist and fantasist alike. In teasing fashion, the book can be flipped to reveal an essay
section, with texts by Geoffrey Batchen and Jorg Wagensberg that examine and unpick the
myths that Fontcuberta has so meticulously constructed.

• The Photography of Nature / The Nature of Photography by Joan Fontcuberta
• Embossed printed hardcover
• 21 cm x 26 cm
• 224 pages
• Price €50.00 £45.00 $55.00
• ISBN: 978-1-907946-51-6
• Publication date: 25th October 2013

Photography

Related Posts

Thabiso Sekgala : Second Transition

South Africa –  ‘Second Transition’ is the series of images that I’ve photographed in the areas around the mining town …

Arko Datto: CYBER SEX

THIS STORY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT India –  I had started working on my project CYBERSEX during the months of March …

Rachel Seed : Reinventing A Mother’s Legacy

U.S.A. – Rachel Seed is a Brooklyn-based photographer and filmmaker who divides her time between multimedia documentary projects and freelance photography …

Federico Clavarino: Italia o Italia

Spain –   Italia o Italia is built over the ruins of an unresolved empire, a place in which monuments …

Alberto Lizaralde: “everything will be ok”

Spain –  In life we all go through good times and bad times over and over, tirelessly. I went through …

FotoBookFestival 2014: Photobook Dummy Award Announced

Germany –  Final jury for the FotoBookFestival 2014 Dummy Award were: Deanne Templeton, Cristina de Middel, Todd Hido, Carlos Spottorno, …

Koji Takiguchi: “Sou” – Celebration of Death in the Family

Japan –  Published by Little Big Man Books, Japan, Photography feature – Koji Takiguchi‘s images document his wife and her …

PhotoEspaña 13 : Body. Eros and Politics.

Spain –  PhotoEspaña, one of the most important photography festivals in Europe, which has its epicentre in Madrid (exhibitions also …

Sputnik Photos Lost Territories

Lost Territories: Support Sputnik Photos project on Post-Soviet Countries of Central Asia

Poland –  Twenty-five years after the fall of the USSR five Sputnik Photos photographers are setting out on a journey …