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North Korea, life is a scenery

Canadian photographer Nathalie Daoust exhibits her experimental images, an allegory of the false reality in which the Asian country lives

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North Korea, life is a scenery

On day North Korean supreme Leader Kim Jong Il was born in February 1942, a luminous star sailed sky and winter season was transformed in summer. This great event, which could be letter of a verse, is fabulous story "that is told to children in schools to venerate as a God" to man who ruled North Korea between 1994 and 2011, says Canadian photographer Nathalie Daoust (Montreal) , 1977). The last project of this author, that is exhibited in Circle of Fine Arts, in Madrid, until 28th of January 2018, are 25 photos, several large format, which took with his analogue camera as a tourist in Pyongyang, some incognito thanks to a cable-shot camouflaged On one arm.

Let's clarify, Daoust's work is not photojournalism. "I didn't want to do a story," he said during presentation of show. She saw that Korean reality was a decoration, a entelechy, and decided to "express with technique that kind of life". Daoust played during positive, covering some parts of photos. Then he tore paper "to make photo almost transparent." The result is a disturbing, blurry snapshot, as if we were in Duermevela, "as manipulated as inhabitants of North Korea."

Known for his experimental work, Daoust was released in 2003 with book New York Hotel Story. He has portrayed Swiss Brazilian and naturist brols in Alps. The idea for his latest project arose when he photographed women in China Korean fleeing ir country and wanted to know why y had done so. Before entering North Korea it was documented and contacted with several publications to eliminated information about it on Internet, in case Pyongyang officials googleaban ir trail. After six months, he managed to enter 2012 as a tourist on an organized trip, along with a dozen people. He was 10 days and repeated eight months later, when he spent anor two weeks.

Always accompanied by group by three North Koreans, "one soldier, one official and one supervising work of or two", scheduled visits included a hospital in which he was assured that, since 1950, it was not born "any baby with disabilities by "Strength of genes." With prohibition of leaving hotel at night, in places where he could not photograph he pulled his shot and focused with camera placed on his waist.

Daoust was able to speak to some people living under that dictatorial regime. "I do not know if y believe it, but y only told me positive things, perhaps because y are obliged to communicate to authorities if y have spoken with a foreigner." The Korean Dreams exhibition shows an agent that regulates a non-existent traffic, children who entertain tourists in circus, military (which cannot be portrayed under any circumstances) and a man on a bicycle, "because women have it" "Periodically banned following fatal accident suffered by daughter of a high general in Nineties."

In cartouches, Daoust has written long informative texts "to give context to images". Thus we learn that to move from one city to anor country North Koreans must ask permission, that a law of 1950 stipulates that if a person commits a crime, ir children and grandchildren have to also serve penalty and that country does not live in year 2017 , but in 105 of his era, Juche calendar, which began year of birth of Kim Il-Sung, Supreme Leader of 1948 to 1994. When he returned from that isolated place in rest of world, Daoust was said to be "more horrible than I had imagined."

Among se horrors of Communist paradise are "16 concentration camps with some 200,000 people imprisoned, forced to work hard." Daoust recalled case of a 10-year prison sentence for using, inadvertently, a page in a newspaper with a photo of Kim Jong-Il to clean up a drink that had been spilled. Few jokes with Dear Leader, from which he came to assert official website of government of North Korea who did not need to urinate or defecate.


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