Biografi at 30. Kasseler Dokfest
Biografi at Uppsala International Short Film Festival (national competition)
New essay (together with Fredrik Ekman) in Swedish issue of Granta (No. 2)
Solo show at Smålands Konstarkiv, Vandalorum, Värnamo
Madame & Little Boy at Stockholm Litterature Festival, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Group show: ”Real DMZ”, Artsonje Center, Seoul, South Korea. Opening on August 22.
This exhibition, on the second and third floors of the Artsonje Center, investigates not only the ways in which the North is viewed from outside, but examinines the relevant relationships that exist between the South and the North. It suggests ways in which we might rethink our relationship with North Korea, a place that is virtually impossible to visit, and which sometimes feels like an entirely foreign country, though it nevertheless remains an inextricably linked aspect of Korea’s national identity.
The works exhibited in Artsonje Center feature photographs and films that incorporate a diverse range of scenes from the North, giving us new ways and new opportunities to reflect upon our own view and standpoints. The current relationship between the South and the North is inflexible and the future is somewhat difficult to foresee. The previous administrations of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun attempted a ‘Sunshine Policy’, which made visits between two easier. Artworks by NOH Suntag and Seung-woo Back feature in the exhibition, who have both traveled to the North and documented life across the border first-hand. Their photographs, which have passed through censorship by the government in the North, reveal the ways in which the state would like to be seen by us, and others. In his work, Utopia, Back reconstructs and reassembles propaganda photographs produced by North Korea through digital manipulation. This is also the case with Back’s Blow up, where parts of the photographs which had been cut and obscured through censorship are redeveloped and then enlarged into a bigger image. On the other hand, NOH Suntag’s Red House deploys a journalistic approach, and presents the artist’s views that “North Korea is an international music star who knows the most flamboyant way to play a duet between concealing and revealing”. The exhibition also features a selection of works by Armin Linke, who photographed North Korea during a visit in 2005. Hiroshi Minamishima also documented scenes in the North relatively recently, at a time when passage was being blocked due to worsening relations.
Unlike artists who have visited North Korea in person, Sean Snyder works with images that have been collected from the Internet. Being interested in the ways in which images of North Korea are portrayed in the media, Snyder provides the viewer with cropped photographs of the feel of Jong-il Kim, wearing his notorious ‘height-boosting’ shoes. Beginning with images of North Korea, the exhibition moves towards reflections upon the experiences of North Korean defectors. This is immediately visible in Chien-Chi Chang’s film, which records the kind of rugged journey so typical of any escape from North Korea, in this case fleeing through China before finally arriving in a relative safe haven. A work by Suyeon Yun also appears here, depicting the experience of people who have escaped the North and then resettled in the South.
The final chapter of the exhibition presents artworks that hover around the border between the South and the North. Madame & Little Boy by Magnus Bärtås creates an overlap between the ideology of the Cold War and the images of Eun-hee Choi, the actress who was abducted and forced to live and work in North Korea. Tourism in Communism by Yang Ah Ham is portraying a Mt. Gumgang tourist area coachman was filmed in 2005, on site where the North Korean government gives the South Korean tourists permission to visit. Power Passage by Park Chan-kyong is composed of a film that places, side-by-side, scenes of work in the dockyards of the United States and the Soviet Union, and the underground tunnel dug by North Korea, as well as other relevant texts and images. Door to the Sky, a film by Raqs Media Collective, is also featured, consisting of a door that looks like it is part of the wreckage of a destroyed airplane, opening itself up to the sky, addressing the limitations of power or force, while also revealing the almost miraculous resilience that certain materials hold against their own destruction.
”Biografi” at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (Les Rencontres Internationales)
New Essay: "Om det gulliga" (in Swedish)
”Madame & Little Boy” at Busan International Short Film Festival
”Biografi” at Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (international competition)
"ABCDEFGHI" (Kay Rosen, Magnus Bärtås, Mladen Stlinovic and Meric Algun Ringborg), Marabouparken, Stockholm.
The exhibition ABCDEFGHI presents works by four artists who all share an interest in the linguistic. The first nine letters of the alphabet would not signify much were it not for the fact that the final two letters appear in a different colour and form the word HI. The title of the exhibition, which is also the title of a work by the American artist Kay Rosen, is a greeting as well as an invitation to look closer at language and the ability of words to assume various functions, meanings and behaviours, as conveyors, generators, signs and images.
Kay Rosen, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Magnus Bärtås and Mladen Stilinovic work in different geographic contexts, have different native tongues but all use language as method, form and image in order to direct our attention to its impact on our way of speaking, thinking, reading, communicating and perceiving the world. With small additions, emphases and dislocations, their works open up our way of observing and comprehending things which we perhaps otherwise would not have noticed, and give equal prominence to misreadings and misunderstandings as to precision and exactitude.
”Biografi” at Tempo Documentary Film Festival (national competition)
”Biografi” at Gothenburg International Film Festival
Biografi (Biography) at Palais de Tokyo, Paris. December 5, at 5 pm.
Madame & Little Boy is now a part of the collections of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
New text for E-journal Issue 2 (Gwangju Biennale)
Madame & Little Boy at San Francisco Film Society and the Nordic Documentary Film Festival
Beijing / Shanghai / Guangzhou (curated by Henry Sang).
20/10 -25/11 2012
THE COLLECTOR, En utställning om konstnärer och samlande.
Magnus Bärtås, Ditte Ejlerskov, Annika Eriksson, Jårg Geismar, Oscar Guermouche, Hyun-Jin Kwak, Charles LaBelle, Matts Leiderstam och EvaMarie Lindahl. Barock- och renässansföremål från The Olbricht Collection, The Collectors Room, Berlin och från Augsburgska konstskåpet, Gustavianum, Uppsala.
7/9 – 11/11 2012
9th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju
Live Biography, new work for 9th Gwangju Biennale, 2012
Beyond metaphor, ROUNDTABLE simultaneously describes the working relationship of the 2012 Gwangju Biennale’s six Co-Artistic Directors (Nancy Adajania, Wassan Al-Khudhairi, MamiKataoka, Sunjung Kim, Carol Yinghua Lu, and Alia Swastika), the conversational interaction of its six sub-themes, and its non-linear structure.
G-MK presents the new project by the Swedish artists and architects Magnus
Bartas and Lars Henrik Stahl. The project is the result of a several months
of research focusing on the usage of public space in the city of Zagreb
and is based on questioning the relations between the public and private
sector and their role in reshaping the urban landscape in the Croatian
SpotCity Text art, Gothenburg