Cristina de Middel is a photographer whose work investigates photography’s ambiguous relationship to truth. Blending documentary and conceptual photographic practices, her work asks the audience to question the language and veracity of photography as a document and plays with reconstructions and archetypes that blur the border between reality and fiction.
After a successful career as a photojournalist, working with newspapers in Spain and non-government organizations including Doctors Without Borders and the Spanish Red Cross, De Middel discovered that she had become disappointed in photojournalism and its reliance on the consumption of “authentic” images and the untruths that accompany them. Stepping outside of the photojournalistic gaze, de Middel 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’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. 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. De Middel lives and works in Mexico.