Before art was even available on the internet, galleries, and museums; cultural and artistic centers were the only places where it was possible to admire photography. In the past, curators and collectors preferred direct and visual contact with works of art to be able to make decisions and eventually acquisitions. Indeed, this is the reason for the existence of art galleries all over the world. However, step by step galleries started to develop their own websites and to gain exposure on social media. They opened their collections to reach a wider audience, not only in their city or even in their own country, but on a global scale.
With the covid-19 pandemic, cultural institutions started to explore even more alternative digital spaces with online exhibitions and a rise in the popularity of virtual reality. If the art world was already slowly shifting to become more and more accessible on digital platforms, the past months have shown us a considerable rise in virtual viewing rooms, digital fairs, and online course exhibitions.
Modernization has its pros and cons. We don’t believe that it will ever replace the direct contact with the photographer you meet at an opening reception or an art fair, but it certainly is an additional way to get more exposure for your work. That is why All About Photo has decided to become an online gallery. In this specific space of our website, we have decided to exclusively showcase solo exhibitions of photographers. We believe, it is better to focus on the work of a single talented artist. It is also a way to give featured photographers a platform to share their project, their message, or to give them the ability to showcase the wide range of their talents.
This new showroom is for you: photographers, curators, collectors, and photography lovers.
For this month of August, the exhibition is Kim City by Belgian photographer Alain Schroeder.
Alain Schroeder - Kim City
All About Photo.com | Photography Exhibition: 'Kim City' by Alain Schroeder, winner of the Solo Exhibition Competition.
Pyongyang, North Korea. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains one of the most isolated and secretive nations in the world.
Since its creation in 1948, the country has been ruled by three generations of the Kim dynasty descending from the country’s founder Kim Il-sung, followed by his son, Kim Jong-il, and currently under the control of his grandson, Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un. It is a self-reliant socialist society based on an extreme interpretation of the cult of personality and devotion to the current and former leaders, fueled by a large dose of propaganda.
The festivities honoring the 70th anniversary of the creation of North Korea on September 9, 1948, include the opening ceremony of the Mass Games at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang. Supreme Leader, Kim Jung-un is in attendance. While the country is generally off-limits to foreign media, this event is accessible to the press and tourists alike.
Virtually the entire society has been called to service and is focused on the sole objective of showing the world the caliber, merit, and talent of North Korea on display in both cultural and military domains. It is in this favorable, yet highly controlled, context that this story takes place.
Visitors are shown only a confined area of Pyongyang; one of modern high-rises in recently constructed districts of the city. Visits to the city’s national monuments are a required portion of the pre-determined, inflexible itinerary. Chaperoned and surveilled by two official government guides at all times is standard practice for foreign visitors. You are told what to do, what to look at or not, and what to photograph. Shots of people working, carrying goods, or not well-dressed are forbidden pushing one to show only an idealized vision of the city. The environment is totally controlled and there is no choice but to follow the rules.
So, when you look at the images, to paraphrase the Belgian surrealist painter Magritte:
This is not North Korea.