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Joan Fontcuberta


The poster for this year's festival is a Googlegram by the photographer Joan Fontcuberta. The title is “Pallasso polític" (Political clown) and as the author explains: "Pallasso polític. The photograph has been recomposed using a freeware program for photo mosaic connected to the Google search engine. The final result is composed of 5,040 images available on the Internet applying the search criteria of the names of all the members of the permanent committee of the Spanish Congress during the VIII Legislature (2006)."

Joan Fontcuberta (Barcelona, 1955) investigates photography and its cultural meaning from various aspects, theoretical essay, education, diffusion and artistic production: he is author and editor of books on the aesthetics of photography El beso de Judas (1997) and Fotografía: Crisis de historia (2002), among others titles; he lectures in European and North-American schools and is currently professor of Audiovisual Communications at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona; in 1980 he edited the Photovision magazine and also collaborated with numerous cultural publications and initiatives such as the Primavera Fotogràfica (Photography in Spring) in Barcelona, of which he is co-founder; he has held numerous individual exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Japan, centres such as the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (1992), The Museum of Modern Art in New York (1988) and the Fukui Art Museum (1999), and his works are present in collections all over the world. Among others important distinctions, in 1998 he received the National Photography Award presented by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

The photographic work of Joan Fontcuberta examines the limits between reality and fiction. He understands photography more as a culture of vision rather than a mere technique, he transforms everyday images into documents of the impossible. The work of this artist amplifies whatever reason and empiricism and their taxonomies organise and limit: animals the zoology would deny (in the series Fauna secreta, 1996, with Pere Formiguera), historical events that official records do not include_once(Sputnik, 1997), magical phenomena that contradict the laws of science (Carèlia: Miracles & Co., 2002), or the beginning of the physical existence of mythological beings (La sirena del Tormes, 2006), in all cases images whose appearance is so feasible that they necessarily throw the documental function of photography and its enormous power of conviction into crisis, thus creating in the spectator a critical attitude to what he sees, because credibility is not always the same as the truth.

Pere Parramon


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