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North Korea, another journey

Olivier Mirguet has spent three years on a photographic project about the places where power is perceived. A series devoted to North Korea, in 2002, is the starting point for this. In it he develops his photographic thought process about the idea of imprisonment, surveillance and both visible and hidden power.
“North Korea does not like photographers. And yet the most closed regime in the world does like images. They are used as the basis for propaganda. What is there to see in this “socialist paradise”? None of what the journalist is looking for: the starving people, political prisons and nuclear power plants. These images do not exist; not yet. There is no way that any visitor to North Korea can escape surveillance. He is advised to photograph all of the regime’s most glorious achievements. By going there, I agreed to become a propaganda photographer. I always looked for the traces of power, going beyond the obvious things such as the revolutionary slogans and omnipresent portraits of Kim Il Sung. And all the time I had a question in my head: what place is there for individuals in this collectivised, oppressed space? So I reconstructed a reality, the one which was in front of me. It is no less terrible for all that”.

The exhibition consists of 72 colour prints, framed, format: 40 x 60 cm.

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