Photographer Nathalie Daoust’s newest project, Korean Dreams, is a complex series that probes the unsettling vacuity of North Korea. Piercing its veil with her lens, these images reveal a country that seems to exist outside of time, as a carefully choreographed mirage. Daoust has spent much of her career exploring the chimeric world of fantasy: the hidden desires and urges that compel people to dream, to dress up, to move beyond the bounds of convention and to escape from reality. With Korean Dreams she is exploring this escapist impulse not as an individual choice, but as a way of life forced upon an entire nation.
Daoust intentionally obscures her photographs during the development process, a systematic breakdown of the original negative that produces indistinct and somewhat ghostlike images. This darkroom method mimics the way information is transferred in North Korea – the facts of both are manipulated until the underlying truth is all but lost. The resultant pictures speak to a North Korean society in an enforced dream-state, where truth is not lived but reinterpreted by those in power.
- Samantha Small –
Exhibition dates: Saturday 14. January to Saturday 25. March 2017
The exhibition is part of European Capital of Culture: