The truth about photographs is that they are not truthful. Yet, photography remains a medium that we think of, still, as being close to reality. That’s why when artists such as Marina Gadonneix come along, who aggressively blur the lines between reality and make-believe, we sit up and take note.
“I am interested in the interstice between fiction and reality,” says Gadonneix, a French photographer who creates fictional scenes of catastrophe, drama and terror from real places.
From fire-training centers (The House That Burns Everyday) to police forensic schools (Crime Scenes), and from military installations and research laboratories (Playground Disorder) to empty TV studios (Remote Control), Gadonneix searches out places “we build in order to face reality.”
Her work shouldn’t be a hard sell — they are eye-catching and dramatic. But if any other artist proclaimed, as she does, “My work looks at the simulation of reality, through the reality of simulation,” they would be promptly filed in the “bullshit artspeak” folder. Not Gadonneix. This is a very literal description of her work. She makes photographs in places where real acts of simulation occur.
“They are very rationalized places, where scientists and specialists explore our fantasies or our nightmares,” she says. “The idea that from the very objective comes the alien has always fascinated me.”