'Paranoia suddenly seems the normal condition of being in this world. It’s easier to ponder the end of the world, than to imagine political alternatives.'
Johan Grimonprez

In the same way that Joan Fontcuberta created a Russian cosmonaut called Ivan Istochnikov and gave him a false life, many artists have incorporated fiction in their work. And with it, some have adopted the methods of literature, critiquing it, satirising it, revering it and even reviving its traditions.


The work of Raymond Pettibon follows in the wake of a generation of artists from Los Angeles that includes John Baldessari, Edward Ruscha, and Jim Shaw. Along with Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley, Pettibon is a clear exponent of a type of artistic tradition that originated on the West Coast, under the influence of the confrontation between underground subcultures and the fictions churned out by Hollywood. With its mix of images and words, Pettibon’s work could be said to begin at the point where comic strip illustrators and Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein leave off. The sources of his ‘fictions’ (as he calls them) are many and varied: from Goya and Honoré Daumier to the imaginary of television series, magazines and comics, literary references like Marcel Proust, Henry James and William Blake, and pulp fiction.

Do you know that when Joan Fontcuberta showed the work Fauna at the Zoology Museum of Barcelona, in 1989, 27% of visitors with university degrees believed the animals were authentic?
Fauna is a large-format installation of multiple elements around the figure of a forgotten scientist and his discoveries in the animal world. The starting point is the supposed discovery by the two photographers of the lost archives of the German zoologist Peter Ameisenhaufen. All the key elements are there to give scientific credibility and epistemological weight to a total fiction. At no time is the viewer warned that it is all an invention. 'We would like to propose a reflection not only on realism and the credibility of the photographic image but also as the scientific discourse and the artifice that underlies every knowledge-producing mechanism while engaging upon a variety of facets that affect different creative fields.'

In the Eye / Machine trilogy, Farocki deals with the technology of war and how that visual technology has penetrated civilian life. In his films, he brings out the fact that the human eye is losing the capacity to distinguish between real and fictional images. In Eye / Machine the lens of the camera is placed on the so-called ‘smart bombs’, replacing the human eye as the supreme witness of war. The manipulation of images in times of conflict is nothing new since countless documentary testimonies over history have shown that they have become one more weapon against the enemy. Counterinformation, which in other times was done from pulpits, in leaflets or over the radio waves, is now handled by image control, although no-one talks about war propaganda anymore and it is the big communications groups that have control of information. The latest danger for official propaganda has been online publications and the dizzying speed with which users of blogs all over the world can ‘upload’ their version of events.

R. Marcos Mota "Secta Ciencia Ficció i Travesti"

Conference Transvestite Science Fiction Sect by R. Marcos Mota, who is a transvestite through and through and artist of the night.

CASCANDO. Variations for another dramatic piece

Presented in the galleries of the Museum on 23 February 2013 within the programme Experience MACBA, Cascando. Variations for another dramatic piece is part of a radio play by Samuel Beckett, adapted and produced by Joan Morey.

Cascando is a radio piece for music and voice, in which three characters bring listeners up against the basic mechanisms of radio. One is the Opener (L'Oeuverer), who directs the action from a mixing desk in a neutrals studio space; another is the Voice (La Voix), which comes to us from an unknown space and could perhaps be the subconscious mind or the thoughts of the Opener. The third character is the Music. Word, music and silence are thus employed as the basic units of expression of the language of radio (and, by extension, the language of art), which are juxtaposed or overlap in this piece but do not interact.

FONS ÀUDIO #7. The Otolith Group

By means of films, texts, sounds, photographs, paintings and other materials, The Otolith Group explores the nature of perception and analyses the role played by documents and images in the creation of archives in the post-colonial world. Theirs is a science fiction of the present, which recovers forgotten moments from history and projects them into the future. Sagar and Eshun’s work is best approached by putting aside the traditional methodological boundaries between creators, critics and curators. They create, analyse, interpret and reinterpret reality in an obsessive attempt to transcend the opacity of their images. To do so, they turn to the full range of semantic possibilities of montage and invite viewers to become editors of their works.