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Facing the Sky curated by Louise DéryAcadèmia dels Desconfiats (Academy of the Distrustful), 2016

Ivan and Kloka during their historic extravehicular activity, image from the project “The Odyssey of Soyuz 2”, 1997
Photo: Joan Foncuberta

Joan Fontcuberta - Barcelona, Spain

How can one understand what is true and what is false, when they no longer look at the sky except through models, computers and algorithms?

For Nuit Blanche Toronto, Joan Foncuberta has developed a material culture museum about doubt and scepticism. His project is inspired by the Academy of the Distrustful (1700-1703), a short-lived institution in Barcelona which advocated for doubt as an intellectual tool to reject dogmas and develop rational knowledge. In response to the baroque emblem of the Academy showing a boat among agitated waves, the artist installs his fictive museum in a boat anchored in the Toronto harbour. The visitor will discover a display of several fake artefacts involving the sky.

Most of Fontcuberta's work considers images as traps and confronts viewers with issues of credibility and visual verifiability. Using the convincing authority of photography and storytelling techniques, his projects present playful situations that blend fact and fiction and where the sky appears as a fantasy territory challenging the realms of truth. For example, a document reminds us of the dramatic odyssey of Sputnik where a Soviet cosmonaut sent into outer space on the aborted Soyuz II mission in 1968 never returned. Pretending it was an unmanned flight, the authorities consequently doctored every document regarding the damned cosmonaut.

Joan Fontcuberta (1955, Barcelona, Spain) has developed both an artistic and a theoretical activity, which focuses on the conflicts between nature, technology and truth. He has done solo shows at MoMA (New York) and the Chicago Art Institute and his work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa) and the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris). In 2013, he was the recipient of the Hasselblad Foundation Award.

Installation, Photography and related media


OBLIVION Militant Nostalgia And the Transformation Reveals Facing the Sky Independent Projects Major Institutions Event Centre Invictus 360°

Showboat Royal Grace, Mariposa Cruises

207 Queens Quay West (Access boat via pier south of Queens Quay Terminal)

Suitable for all ages

This project is both indoors and outdoors.