Fantasy enchants, carrying us off into dream worlds that stir our darkest fears and sharpest longings. Two new exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts approach the fantastic from different angles.
“Make Believe,” invites reality into the picture. The contemporary photography exhibition plays with viewers’ frequent and increasingly wrong-headed tendency to assume photographs represent the real world. In this show, elaborately staged images have the whiff of fact simply because they’re photographs. That tension brings the ache of their tales closer to the surface. They’re driven by a bittersweet awareness akin to “it was only a dream.”