About the exhibition

From its beginnings, photography has known how to blend reality and fiction. Today, as the boundaries between documentary photography and artistic or fine art photography have completely disappeared, a new genre known as “docufiction” is taking root in contemporary artistic circles. Photographers use this approach to explore universal themes, drawn from current affairs or with social, political or philosophical impact. By integrating a documentary style setting or creating a specific visual narrative, the selected artists play on a certain thought-provoking narrative ambiguity, whilst leaving the viewer free to interpret the images.

For the first time, works by artists in the collection such as Daniel Mayrit, Anna Krieps and Tatiana Lecomte, interact with new works by artists like Bieke Depoorter, Lisa Kohl, Cristina de Middel and Max Pinckers. A new installation by Marco Godinho, an artist already represented in the collection, will complete these presentations of varying approaches and artistic visions.

  • With her The Afronauts series, Spanish artist Cristina de Middel creates an ambiguity between the techniques of documentary and conceptual photography.
  • The As it may be series by Belgian artist Bieke Depoorter is an encounter between text and image, between documenting and narrating, between real and imaginary.
  • Starting from images captured during his year spent travelling before the Written by Water installation at the Venice Biennale 2019, Marco Godinho, a Portuguese-Luxembourgish artist, diversifies a part of the Venice project by giving it a different timeframe and material form.
  • The strong iconicity of Luxembourgish artist Lisa Kohl’s Blindspot photography creates a tension between the factual foundation and the fictional projection.
  • In another context, Anna Krieps, a Luxembourgish photographer pursuing her obsession with astronauts, photographs her actress sister in the most unusual settings.
  • We come across the interplay between fact and fiction once more with Tatiana Lecomte, a Viennese artist born in France. By scratching the documentary photography in the B. series, she uses a gestural artistic approach to evoke a fictional image of the site of the former nazi concentration camp on fire.
  • In the Authorised Images series, Spanish artist Daniel Mayrit condemns laws restricting the use of images by decontextualising and deconstructing the representations.
  • The work of Belgian artist Max Pinckers, such as in the Unhistories series, manifests in different forms where the documentary aspect combines with an artistic conception, inviting us to rethink memory and history.

written by: Claire and Paul di Felice (Curators of Arendt & Art)

Behind the scenes

Pictures: Eric Chenal

Videos about the artists and their exhibited works:

In this video, Paul and Claire di Felice discuss the artworks of Tatiana Lecomte and Cristina de Middel. Discover the creative background behind their exhibited art.

Watch Lisa Kohl explain the metaphor behind her presented artwork and the techniques she used in the process.

Daniel Mayrit, whose artworks are presented at Arendt House, explains the idea behind his series “Authorised Images”.

Marco Godinho reflects on the origins of his series “Left to Their Own Fate (Odyssey)”.

Bieke Deporteer explains her 2011 assignment in Cairo, where she has been asked to take the photos in people’s homes to reflect the mood in the city during the revolution.