Korean Dreams is the name of a complex set of photographs that investigates the disturbing emptiness of North Korea through the lens of Nathalie Daoust. The exhibition took place in Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, and it will run from November 16, 2017, to January 28, 2018.
As a country in which capitalism is not present, unlike the rest of the world, North Korea acts as a cautious choreography. The Canadian photographer has pursued most of her career “exploring the fanciful world of fantasy: hidden wishes and impulses which make people to dream, to go beyond the limits of convention, and to escape from reality. In this case, this escaping impulse is not understood as an individual choice, but as lifestyle which an entire nation is forced to adopt,” as indicates the website Círculo de Bellas Artes.
To take pictures in North Korea is to follow a set of restrictive policies that can lead to strict policies if they are not fully carried out. Only some places are allowed to be photographed; however, Nathalie took the risk and broke the rules by taking pictures of people and forbidden areas. “She, on purpose, makes photographs look darker, as she uses the darkroom camera effect which imitates how North Korea transmits information: Photographs, just like North Korea people, are manipulated to the point that truth is covered up. Daoust tries to make us distrust the truth that we think is immutable just because we can see them. The resulting images of her work show North Korean society, lost information, hidden truth, and manipulation of this truth,” as indicates the website of the exhibition.
It is important to mention that the exhibition is presented when there is a complex international political state of affairs; lately, many countries have been giving their attention to North Korea —USA for example—, for its weapon-related policy and the missiles that this country has recently been launching (including the more recent which might reach any place of The Unites States of America).
Throughout her career as an visual artist, Nathalie Daoust has been uncovering hidden secrets about the apparent stability of life. In 1997, she suddenly became known while photographing the themed rooms in Hotel Carlton Arms, New York, project that resulted in her first individual exhibition and the book New York Hotel Story. From then, she has created a wide variety of new conceptual projects around the world.
As an artist, her purpose is to go beyond the limits of photography, using experimental methods. Therefore, she works with new means and techniques of darkroom process to explore the “unstoppable kingdom of truth, fantasy, and human desire of escaping,” as her biography mentions.