Truthiness and the News

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Girl Reading on Stack of Pittsburgh Courier Newspapers,
Click images for larger view
On View Oct 12, 2019 - Mar 29, 2020
Exhibition Location: Dewey Family Gallery

Dewey Family Gallery

PLEASE NOTE: The Truthiness and the News gallery will be closed on Saturday, November 2 for a symposium. There are still tickets available for the public event "Art and Journalism in the Era of Post-Truth Politics"—register here!

Truthiness and the News explores the evidentiary role of photography, from the heyday of newsprint in the first half of the twentieth century to the current age of post-truth politics. Presaging the contemporary turn to “alternative facts” and “fake news,” photographs in print journalism have always offered a multiplicity of truths depending on when and how editors chose to print them. Featuring works from the 1940s to the present, this exhibition highlights photojournalists and socially engaged photographers, such as Charles “Teenie” Harris and Barbara Norfleet, alongside spreads from the newspapers and magazines that published their photographs, and contemporary works responding to the dissemination of the news today. Displaying lush photographs of current events as “art” next to the same images presented as “news” offers rich insights into the way photography informs our politics and beliefs.

Artists included in the show: Jules Aarons, Richard Avedon, Claire Beckett, Kevin Bubriski, Sarah Charlesworth, Sajada Domino, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Lotte Jacobi, Justin Kimball, Barbara Kruger, Rania Matar, Lisette Model, Barbara Norfleet, Lorraine O’Grady, Richard Roth, Steven Siegel, Sage Sohier, Jim Stone, The Yes Men, Panos Tsagaris, Andy Warhol.

Organized by Sam Adams, Koch Curatorial Fellow.

Photosynthesis at deCordova

Photography has long benefitted from assumptions that it faithfully documents our world. The medium’s supposed neutrality is particularly unquestioned when used for scientific study or journalistic purposes. Upending these assumptions, Photosynthesis encompasses a suite of exhibitions at deCordova spanning diverse topics from botanical design to land art, news reportage to photo-conceptualism—fields that have relied on photography’s ability to zoom, crop, and manipulate objects of study to provide detailed visual evidence. The three exhibitions that form Photosynthesis look back to photography’s origins and foundational artists and photojournalists to contextualize contemporary notions of nature, photography, and truth. (See also: All the Marvelous Surfaces: Photography Since Karl Blossfeldt and Peter Hutchinson: Landscapes of My Life)

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Member Preview Day
Friday, October 11, 10 am–5 pm

Trustees Members are invited for an exclusive preview day of deCordova's three fall photography exhibitions. Get the first look in the galleries before they open to the public! At noon, deCordova's curatorial team will lead a discussion and tour of the exhibitions. 

Art and Journalism in the Era of Post-Truth Politics
Saturday, November 2, 1–4:30 pm

In conjunction with Truthiness and the News, this symposium brings together journalists, historians, and artists to reflect on how we look at images and read the news critically in an age in which the concept of truth seems to hold ever less weight. REGISTER

What's Your Truth? Glass and Collage Workshop
Saturday, November 16, 10 am–12:30 pm

Using newspapers, magazines, and advertisements as source materials, put your truth on display with a glass and collage project inspired by the Truthiness exhibition. REGISTER