The administrative offices of the UMPB in the Latin quarter of Montreal.


If art is truly creation, then why would it not create the museum that houses it, the curator that adores it and the illustrious career that facilitates its exposure to the world?

The Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale is a work of magic realism. It is a perpetually evolving html-based work depicting a collection of museums. Originally inspired by the theme of the Mois de la photo à Montreal 2015 Edition, this project began life contemplating Joan Fontcuberta’s notion of “the post-photographic condition”.


Initially we were attracted to the “hall of mirrors” paradox implicit in the idea of art depicting the museum, but it wasn't until we began creating the artwork for the walls of our make-believe Museum that we perceived the full potential of this richly exploitable playing field. Inventing photographers and their artwork granted not only the opportunity to explore contemporary photography and its ever-fascinating ontological questions, but also to reinvent it. Recreating contemporary and historical works in the form of pastiche facilitated access to themes and ideas from the photographic language and provided reference points the viewer can use to measure and qualify the distortions through the lens of Uqbar.




Borges claimed to owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopaedia. The mirror, he wrote, troubled the depth of a corridor; the encyclopaedia misleadingly titled the Anglo-American Cyclopaedia ( New York 1917), was in fact a literal but delinquent reprint of the 1902 Encyclopaedia Britannica. A faintly recalled citation, “…mirrors and copulation are abominable because they increase the number of men”, attributed to the heresiarch of Uqbar, was later corrected to be " ... the visible universe was an illusion or (more precisely) a sophism, Mirrors and fatherhood are abominable because they multiply and disseminate that universe". The Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale is such an abomination, just as it is also a deliberately literal yet delinquent reprint of the history of photography and of the world mirrored within its walls.


The Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale resides exclusively within cyberspace, the most formidable hall of mirrors. Appropriately described as a web, net or matrix, the internet’s knotted pathways weave an immediate and continuously regenerative reflection of the world as it is dreamt by man. The Cybernetic universe is a mutually conceded collectively sewn projection. We believe that cyberspace has the potential to return Mankind to the abandoned city of Babel where he once dared to build the tower “…whose top may reach the heavens…” and, as god once feared “… nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do..



Antonino Paraggi


Director and Founder

Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale