Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography
2/8/2020 - 5/10/2020


Take the Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography virtual tour! 


Photography met the twenty-first century in a precarious position - more ubiquitous than at any point in its history, yet also fundamentally less believable. Every phone is now a camera, and it is estimated that over one trillion images were made in 2015. Yet most of these are disposable, existing only on iPhones and hard drives, and when people view images on-line or in print, more often than not they are presumed to have been manipulated or altered in some fashion. Photography's veil of believability has been lifted and "clicking the shutter" has never meant less.

That said, it is precisely this power that photography once held - the assumption of fact - that has allowed its truths to become so slippery. Where does this leave images that are intended to be more than transitory or ephemeral - pictures intended to convey insight or careful observation? The majority of photographs in this exhibition carry the appearance of transparency and immediacy - of the depiction of a scene that appeared before the lens at an exact moment - but often remind us that things aren't always what they seem.

Employing a variety of media - from photograms to images exposed on film and printed in the darkroom to compositions constructed from multiple digital captures - the artists in this exhibition subvert our assumptions about their subjects and the manner in which photographs are created. Featured photographers include Tina Barney, Julie Blackmon, Joachim Brohm, James Casebere, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Christopher Dawson, John Divola, Lalla Essaydi, Owen Gump, Dan Holdsworth, Ron Jude, Richard Misrach, Richard Mosse, Simon Norfolk, Trevor Paglen, Susan Rankaitis, Thomas Ruff, Meghann Riepenhoff, Mark Ruwedel, Larry Sultan, Mickalene Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems. Exploring traditional genres of landscape, still life, and portraiture, their work cleverly upends our expectations in both subtle and overt ways to challenge how we understand photography's new role in describing the shifting world around us.

This exhibition is organized by Joslyn Art Museum.


What's pictured: James Casebere, Sea of Ice, 2014, pigment print, 37 3/4 x 49 3/4 inches, edition of 5 with 2 Aps, © James Casebere. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly, New York.



Hours, Tickets, & Tours

Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography is open during all regular Museum hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm; late 'til 8 pm on Thursday. Closed Mondays and major holidays.

Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography 
is a ticketed exhibition:
General public adults: $10
(Thursday evening pricing, 4-8 pm: $5 for general public adults)
$5 for college students with a valid ID (tickets for those with a UNMC student ID are free)
Youth ages 17 and younger: Free
Joslyn Members: Free — Not a member? Click here to join now!

All visitors, including members, must obtain a ticket for entrance to the exhibition (no reservations necessary).

Programs with visits to the exhibition will be priced accordingly for general public adults. Docent-guided tours of the exhibition are offered on select days. Check the calendar of events for exact tour dates. Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography ticket pricing applies.

Mobile Tour

Free Wi-Fi is available in all Joslyn galleries. Bring your web-enabled mobile device or borrow one of ours to access the dual language Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography mobile tour. Presented by Joslyn and OnCell. Call (402) 881-3601 to access the tour in English; (402) 972-4031 for the Spanish language tour. Tour access information also available on site and on the Museum's mobile tour page.



Exhibition-Related Events & Programs

Thursday, February 6 @ 5:30 pm

Saturday, February 8 @ 5:30 pm
Members Opening & Reception

Monday, February 10; noon–3 pm

Thursday, February 27 @ 6:30 pm (cash bar @ 5 pm)

Saturday & Sunday, February 29 & March 1

Thursdays, March 12 & April 30 @ 6:30 pm and 7:15 pm each evening (cash bar @ 5 pm each evening)
Curator Gallery Talks

Thursday, April 16 @ 6:30 pm (cash bar @ 5 pm)

Many regularly scheduled programs will feature Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography-inspired themes. Check these listings for details:
  • Joslyn offers studio classes for all ages, including traditional film photography, digital photography, and even cameraless photography—all inspired by the exhibition. See class schedules for ages 5 through adult here.