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When Fact Is Fiction: Documentary Art in the Post-Truth Era

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In the age of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” artists take on truth and fiction

“Fake news” and “alternative facts” have recently entered the public lexicon, speaking to a renewed confusion over concepts of truth and reality. But these concerns have long been addressed in the field of documentary art, well before the recent attention in politics and media related to facts, truth, reality and fiction. Artists who work with archival materials or scrutinize their own subjective position while making documentary work, for example, have long had to reckon with the boundaries between truth and fiction.

When Fact Is Fiction collects contributions from and about artists who explore the boundaries between fact and fiction by playing with the “documentary.”

Looking at how artists deploy concepts such as truth, reality, fiction and post-truth, this volume explores how the fine lines between fact and fiction can be used to re-imagine versions of the present and the future.

With text by Pascal Gielen, Andrea Gorki, Charlotte Lybeer, Sigrid Merx, Patrícia Portela, Jonas Rutgeerts, Nienke Scholts, Katharina Smets, Elly Van Eeghem, Peter Van Goethem, Stefan Vanthuyne, Ludovik Vermeersch, and Nele Wynants

Edited by Nele Wynants

Designed by Metahaven

Published by Valiz, 2020

Softcover, 224 pages, 15 b&w images, 5.25 × 8.25 inches

ISBN: 978-9-49-209571-8