From the moon landings to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, photography often provides the evidential cornerstone of conspiracy theories. The photographs in Divisive Moments are both unusual and familiar.
Featured here alongside accompanying research documents, books, and films, these images prompt many questions: are we visited, on a regular basis, by alien beings traveling in strange interstellar craft? Or have vast numbers of people decided to make complex and life-altering fictions supporting the existence of such beings and technology? Both possibilities are equally intriguing and remain divisive. As neither is provable through photographic process or analysis, the photographs here occupy a grey area, being truth and fiction, hard evidence and magnificent fabrication.
The exhibition also draws into focus the meaning of what we now understand as “knowledge”. In the classical philosophical definition of knowledge, its generation is defined by the overlapping of truth—real fact-based and undeniably provable evidence—and belief—the ideas that an individual is able to accept as part of their understanding of the world. In contemporary post-truth politics, belief has become the defining factor for understanding of the world, whilst truth has become an unnecessary factor. “Fake news” and “alternative facts” are the new “truths” and combine with pre-existing belief to become powerful understandings of the world.
Divisive Moments is a project for Krakow Photomonth 2017 by artist and curator Gordon MacDonald and has been realised in collaboration with The Photographers’ Gallery, London.
All works courtesy of Gordon MacDonald collected from the rich UFO Photo Archives.
Curator: Gordon MacDonald
The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow
ul. Krakowska 46
21.05.2017, 5 p.m.
Tue–Sun 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Krakow's Night of Museums: 19.05, 7 p.m.–1 a.m.
5 PLN / 8 PLN