Disputed Sunset


“Can the sun lie?” asked a US court in 1886 when reflecting upon the truth claims of photographic evidence. However, as photographic practices became more commonplace and awareness of the ease of image manipulation increased, so too did doubts about their evidentiary value. Soon, photographic experts began to face each other in court and a new order of certainty appeared, produced by the domain of expertise.

In the Canadian Arctic the sun is setting many kilometers further west along the horizon and the stars are no longer where they should be. Sunlight is behaving differently in this part of the world as the warming Arctic air causes temperature inversions and throws the setting sun off-kilter. The longstanding dispute between lay knowledge and scientific expertise is forcefully reanimated by current climate change debates, particularly with respect to indigenous storytelling traditions. This is a reordering of expertise and its claims to truth that turn on the evidence proffered by nature itself.


Susan Schuppli


"Can the Sun Lie?" – Video documentary



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