I purchased this book to help me with my critical essay for assignment 3, where I choose to discuss how photojournalism has changed in the post-photographic era. The book is written in Joan Fontcuberta’s usual, engaging style. It is also heavy on images and light on text, which makes it a very easy to read and communicative book.
The book contains illustrated profiles from 29 artists, each of which participated in Le Mois de la Photo a Montreal 2015, an international biennial of the contemporary image, dedicated in 2015 to the theme of the post-photographic condition.
A few of the artists and their work I had come across before, but most of them, were completely new to me. Some of those that I found the most interesting were Andreas Rutkauskas and his series Virtually There, Jacques Pugin and his series Les cavaliers du diable (The Knights of the Devil), and Christina Battle and her video stills. Interestingly, all of these series can be found together in the Reality Reloaded chapter of the book. This chapter addresses themes of reality and illusion in the age of the internet. In the introduction to the chapter, Joan Fontcuberta writes:
“In re-examining our notion of reality, we must also reconsider the meaning of the documentary genre. We can speculate, in deliberately tautological fashion, on the basis of two hypotheses, one holding that reality is what appears on our screens, which act as the interface between subject and object, and the other holding that in documenting the world with images, we are actually generating more reality.”
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the whole book, I found this specific concept particularly intriguing. It is an idea that I keep coming back to.
Fontcuberta, J., ed. (2015) Le Mois de la Photo a Montreal: The Post-Photographic Condition. Kerber Verlag: Berlin.