Stranger than Fiction

Tatjana Plitt, Sapna Chandu & Emma Thomson

Stranger Than Fiction examines the shifting, indefinable nature of the real, by bringing together the conflicting practices of documentary and staged photography.

Art Exhibition previously on in Perth precinct, Western Australia, Australia.
From Thursday 08 May 2008 to Monday 26 May 2008
Launch Thursday 08 May 2008, 6:30 - 8:30pm

Some way to meet her image

Published by anonymous on Friday 21 March 2008.
Contact the publisher.

Restaging actual events and archetypal moments, the artists ask their models to perform various elements of their real lives, memories or fantasies. Using this process, they privilege the notion that we construct reality through the imaginary (even memories become part of the imaginary once a moment has past), suggesting that fantasy not only affects the way we interpret reality, but infiltrates the way we experience our banal, everyday lives. This exhibition also explores performance as a path to revealing truth, but more significantly, integral to reaching authenticity. In these images, as in reality, it is impossible to discern the boundaries of the construction.

Emma Thomson’s 2006 series The Homemakers, documents the lives of middle-class Sydneysiders living in suburbia. Shot in a documentary style,
Emma selects a particular setting from the subjects home to capture a scene from their daily life. Her aim was to capture an emotion evoked from their relationship as a couple, as they performed routine activities in their environments. She is particularly interested in highlighting certain gestures and mannerisms developed from being in a relationship with the same person over a period of time. The Homemakers explores the couple’s dreams and desires amongst the banality of daily life, with an almost anthropological approach.

It sounds strange, but nowadays I often feel that the unreal is in fact the most real to me. Sapna Chandu’s 2007 series Some things uncanny involves the re-enactment of bizarre events that have occurred in the lives of those portrayed, and has been created in collaboration with the people photographed. More than just the recollection of chance events, this body of work searches for clues of the authentic in the uncanny. At the same time it explores the possibility of representing memory and considers the extent to which we perform our identity.

Tatjana Plitt’s 2006-2007 series Blaze, recreates the imaginary world of ‘Mills and Boon,’ using real couples who strike a romantic pose in their own domestic environments. In this reconstruction of the climactic, romantic moment, their gestures become performance, their personal belongings become props; artifice in the simulation of a shared, manufactured dream.
In a world where sublime, hyper-real imagery dictates the aesthetic of dreams and the ideal, grittier, lower quality images are associated with the notion of truth and the real. Tatjana deliberately fuses a slick, professional aesthetic with an ‘amateur porn’ aesthetic, leaving the viewer to negotiate the slippery territory between the dream and the real.


Perth Centre for Photography
91 Brisbane Street
Perth WA

Thursday to Sunday 12-5pm