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Cristina de Middel
Jan Mayen

Cristina de Middel – Jan Mayen

In 1911 the North Pole had already been discovered and these first valiant explorers had opened a way for secondary heroes that were willing to prove their courage and to bring back home some unforgettable and unique memories. It was the beginning of extreme tourism.

In that context a group of wealthy German and British supposed scientists decided to “re-discover” Jan Mayen, an island located between Greenland and Iceland that whalers had been using for years but that had not been studied scientifically.

They sailed, they argued, they fought, they forgot their compass, they ran out of coal, they made it to the island, but the boat was too big and they could not land.

End of the story. No medal to bring back home this time and no serious discovery in any of the fields of science that the crew was proudly representing.

History is written by winners and the cinematographer in the crew was well aware of that. He convinced the loser group to stop on the way back in an Icelandic beach and to stage the landing with all the dramatizing that such heroic jests entail. This is the true story of how History was staged.

Cristina De Middel

Cristina de Middel is a photographer whose work investigates photography’s ambiguous relationship to truth. Blending documentary and conceptual photographic practices, she plays with reconstructions and archetypes that blur the border between reality and fiction.
After a successful career as a photojournalist, de Middel stepped outside of the photojournalistic gaze.

She then produced the critically acclaimed series The Afronauts in 2012, which explored the history of a failed space program in Zambia in the 1960s through staged reenactments of obscure narratives.

De Middel continuously produces new bodies of work. The series This is what hatred did (2014), Sharkification (2015) and Jan Mayen (2015), to name a few examples were all published as books in 2015.

De Middel’s work shows that fiction can serve as the subject of photography just as well as facts can, highlighting that our expectation that photography must always make reference to reality is flawed.

Cristina De Middel has exhibited extensively internationally and has received numerous awards and nominations, including PhotoFolio Arles 2012, the Deutsche Börse Prize, POPCAP’ 13, and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in New York.

Cristina de Middel lives and works in Mexico.



Opening time
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00/13.00 -15.00/19.00
Closed Monday

Extraordinary Opening Friday13, free entry
UWF Reduced Ticket € 4.00


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