Media Space, Science Museum, London: Fiction & Photography, Symposium

9 Nov 2014
Talks and Events

Staged scenes have been read as real since the invention of photography. But the effect of digital technology has increased public questions about the truth of what we now see in photographs.
This one-day symposium explored the work of photographers and artists who have used fiction in their work and considers the critical issues raised by such practices.

Professor David Bate and curator Mia Fineman at the ‘Fiction & Photography’ symposium, Media Space Science Museum, London, 8 November 2014


David Bate
Professor of Photography at the University of Westminster, London, photographer and writer. His recent publications include the books Zone (London: Artwords, 2012), Photography: Key Concepts (Berg: 2009) and Photography and Surrealism (I.B Tauris, 2004). Forthcoming works include a monograph of visual work called Notes on Otherness and a new edition of Photography: Key Concepts published by Bloomsbury in 2015.

Mia Fineman

Associate Curator in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She has organized numerous exhibitions, including On Photography: A Tribute to Susan Sontag (2006) and Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop (2012), whose catalogue was named best book of 2012 by Modern Art Notes. She has written on art and culture for The New York Times and

Lucy Soutter

Artist, critic and art historian. She teaches in the Department of Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art. She has written about contemporary art and photography for AfterimageSource, Frieze and Aperture. Her essays have appeared in anthologies including Girls! Girls! Girls! in Contemporary Art (Intellect, 2011), and Appropriation (Whitechapel and MIT Press, 2009).She is the author of Why Art Photography? (Routledge, 2013).

Cristina de Middel

After a successful career as a photojournalist, working with newspapers in Spain and international NGOs, she decided to investigate photography’s ambiguous relationship with truth. In 2012 she produced the critically acclaimed series The Afronauts, exploring a 1960s failed space program in Zambia. She has exhibited extensively internationally and received numerous awards and nominations, including Arles PhotoFolio, the Deutsche Börse Prize, POPCAP’ 13, the ICP Infinity Award.

Peter Kennard

His work, at the cutting edge of global political image making since the Vietnam War, is held in many international collections including Tate, the V&A, the Imperial War Museum and the Science Museum. His recent publications include Dispatches From an Unofficial War Artist (Lund Humphriesm, 2000) and @earth (Tate, 2011). He is Senior Research Reader in Photography, Art and the Public Domain at the Royal College of Art.

Federica Chiocchetti

Currently working on her PhD in photography and fictions at the University of Westminster, she is an independent curator, writer and founder of the platform the Photocaptionist. Her exhibitions and books include Amore e Piombo [Love and Lead], co-curated with Hargreaves, for the Archive of Modern Conflict and the Brighton Photo Biennial 2014, and Amateur Unconcern. She has written for PhotoworksObjektiv and

The event has been recorded and is available on Soundcloud.

It accompanied the exhibition Stranger Than Fiction by Joan Fontcuberta at the Media Space of the Science Museum, and was organised by Professor David Bate, in collaboration with the University of Westminster, Photocaptionist Founding Director Federica Chiocchetti and the Media Space of the Science Museum.