Now You See Me (2020) asks whether we can believe what we see and forces us to investigate the veracity of our assumptions. The work alludes to the perennial question of photography’s truth-telling and the capacity of the medium to blur boundaries between fact and fiction.

A work may be posited as documentary photography, but does that make it real? Within this series the artifice of the staged is overt: costumes, gestures and poses strike the viewer as unreal and lead the viewer to question the narrative. Taken individually or carefully edited, the works can be read as ethereal or ambiguous, but interspersed with those works that highlight their artifice we begin to read them differently and to question if what we once saw was ever there at all.

The power of the photographer or “author” is exposed as the subtle manipulations designed to make us “read” a photograph in a certain way are made apparent. As John Berger said: “A photograph is not necessarily a lie, but it isn’t telling the truth either.”

Now You See Me questions the very notion of a singular truth and offers a space in between where multiple narratives may exist simultaneously.

© Sharon Murphy 2023