Fact vs. Fiction

A group exhibition juried by Sam Adams

On View: December 3, 2020–January 9, 2021 (Closed December 24, 2020–January 1, 2021)

Gallery Hours: Wednesday–Friday, 4–7 PM; Saturday, 1–4 PM

Gallery 263 is thrilled to announce Fact vs. Fiction, a national juried exhibition. This show presents the work of artists who explore truth and fabrication through their work in photography, video, painting, drawing, mixed media, collage, and sculpture. Fact vs. Fiction is juried by Sam Adams, an art historian and curator who is currently the Koch Curatorial Fellow at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

The featured artists create work that occupies a space between documenting and designing an image, steering the perception and boundaries to the viewer. Liz Albert gathers anonymous photographs of family experiences and provides new meaning to the photos by selecting and pairing images in different contexts. Albert’s diptych, In Their Element, juxtaposes a photograph of a taxidermy deer family with a photograph of a human family. Charlotte Niel lets the viewer decide what to believe in Bison Hunt. In Niel’s work, the artist combines original photographs by artists who captured the “American West” with landscapes that Niel has photographed to recreate narratives that focus on the facts and fictions of the “American West.” Utilizing material or arrangement, the artists in Fact vs. Fiction reveal layered meanings in their work.

Featured Artists
Liz Albert, Pesya Altman, Kalee Appleton, Qais Assali, Zoë Barbano Grinder, E. J. Barnes, Lesley Bodzy, Tricia Capello, Lily Colman, Keaton Fox, Andrea Greitzer, Willoughby Lucas Hastings, John Hensel, Shanna Merola, Charlotte Niel, Gunnar Norquist, Maritza Ranero, Neetu Singhal, Ajuan Song, Sandra Stark, David Steinberg, Margaret Whiting

Juror’s Statement
“That everyone’s fact is someone else’s fiction is a reality that artists are uniquely equipped to articulate. Those in Fact vs. Fiction build on a lineage of ideas that destabilized faith in the possibility of truth, from the Greek skeptics to Doubting Thomas, post-modernism, and post-truth politics. Works in the exhibition revise well-known genres and narratives, showing how images provoke a splintering of interpretation, if not outright divisiveness, among their beholders. The dichotomy—Fact vs. Fiction—plays out on formal terms as well, with works that raise doubt about one’s ability to perceive form and texture in a stable way. The distinction between fact and fiction often seems personal or even arbitrary. When consensus is not possible and everything feels surreal, these works remind us that fact and fiction are invented categories and the boundary between them is porous.”

About the Juror
Sam Adams is an art historian and curator specializing in contemporary art. His publications treat performance, theater set design, public sculpture, and electronic media. He has taught at Tufts University, Emerson College and Northeastern University, where he advises students interested in museums, curating, design, art writing, and academic publishing. He has worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Research Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and is currently the Koch Curatorial Fellow at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

*Header image: Liz Albert, In Their Element, archival pigment print, 17 x 47 inches

Gallery 263 advances the artistic endeavors of makers and performers, while fostering public engagement, enrichment, and exchange. Functioning as a creative nexus, Gallery 263 provides a contemporary voice for the arts in Cambridge and our regional communities.

Gallery 263 exhibits are free and open to the public.