Aperture Magazine

The magazine of photography and ideas

After Photoshop and Faking it Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A look at the history of manipulated photography.

 - August 27, 2012

Orogenesis, Kandinsky, 2004 © Joan Fontcuberta

The introduction to Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age, the summer 1994 issue of Aperture, wondered “what kind of images will emerge in the coming years, as chemicals and film become increasingly outmoded and artists push the limits of digital technology? Without a negative to refer to, how will we identify an ‘original’ photograph?”  An upcoming show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will provide a partial answer to these questions.


This fall, the Met is taking a look at the history of manipulated photography in two (mostly) simultaneous exhibitions, Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop, which opens October 7, and its addendum, After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age, which opens September 25.  While Faking It explores the myriad ways photographers have manipulated images throughout photographic history using a number of manual, pre-digital methods, After Photoshop presents how in recent decades artists have used computer technology to modify or fabricate images. The featured works, by artists like Joan Fontcuberta and Kelli Connell, often look toward photographic history while simultaneously considering the future of the medium, and question how photographs relate to the real world and to the vision of their creators. After Photoshop  will be on view until May 27, 2013, and Faking it will be up until January 27, 2013.


Limited-edition prints by Fontcuberta and Connell are available in the Aperture store, as is Aperture 136, Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age.

After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age
September 25, 2012–May 27, 2013

Faking it: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop
October 7, 2012–January 27, 2013

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028

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