All posts tagged: Alice Wielinga

Arles 2015: North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality

As a photographer, how do you make insightful work about a place where media is as heavily controlled as it is in North Korea, ‘a big black hole on the world map’ where government propaganda is ubiquitous and stage managed photo opportunities are the norm? For Alice Wielinga the solution was to take that propaganda and imposed control and turn it back on itself, by creating detailed composite images that blend familiar North Korean propaganda paintings with her own photographs of the secretive state. The resulting series North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality, has been on display at the Les Rencontres d’Arles festival following Wielinga’s win in the portfolio review prize at the previous year’s festival. Wielinga’s composites, which each take weeks to produce, are richly detailed vistas which could easily be dismissed at first glance as conventional propaganda. Closer inspection however reveals incongruities between the painted elements and the new photographic ones. Alongside the stylised faces of smiling workers and bold soldiers, she inserts the tired people and emaciated landscapes she photographed …


BJP Staff