Common sense strives to clearly separate reality from fiction in order to produce credibility. However, as Jacques Rancière affirms, isn’t the real “always the object of a story, that is, of a construction of space where the visible, the sayable, and doable come together”? Reality often exceeds what is reasonable and acceptable. Sometimes, precisely as a result of its traumatic and excessive nature, we are unable to assimilate it and thus are constrained to experience it as a nightmarish apparition. The mental reaction towards the unexplainable is then immediate: imagination and dream unite in order to counteract it. Thus fiction becomes an instrument for divesting reality of its deceptive outer shell.

Isn’t what appears as a point of fracture, then, nothing more than a point of contact? Isn’t the boundary between fiction and reality in itself a product of the working of fiction? A boundary explored, displaced, made permeable by artists who thus transform the relation between reality and fiction, considered not as two, mutually exclusive, sides of the same coin, but in view of hinting at a new “topography of the possible.”1 The staging of equivocal situations (Ralph Eugène Meatyard, Joel-Peter Witkin, and Istvan Balogh) plays with our certainty regarding the existence, or even the very presence of the characters. A shadow of doubt is cast across the space, and blurs the regular lines of artificial spaces (Lynne Cohen), as well as over the harmonious colors of natural landscape (Jean Vérame).

Fiction is a matter of imagination as much as of technique, since both converge today more than ever in order to address the questions of our time. If the twentieth century valued science-fiction, the twenty-first century seeks, by means of 3D, to abolish the boundaries between reality and fantasy in response to a world that claims to have no more mysteries.

1 Jacques Rancière, The Future of the Image, Verso, 2009 [French edn, 2003], and The Emancipated Spectator, Verso, 2011 [French edn, 2008].

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