A joint exhibition by photographer Chris Barrett and researcher Gianluca Spezza
Under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, North Korea has made a conscious decision to be more proactive in the media world. In 2013 we saw the very first live tweeted image of the North Korean leader, from mainstream Western media.
Icons of Rhetoric (IoR) offered a different approach to documenting North Korea, merging established news media practices with more contemporary ones, drawing particular attention to social media.
“While researching an article about an Instagram account claiming to be the official outlet of North Korean news, I started to think about the visual representation of North Korea.
The idea of the project became a reflection on our engagement with modern media techniques, our consumption of images and our knowledge of this ‘most closed off country in the world’ that is the DPRK, all this interwoven with the notion of democratized propaganda.”
Chris Barrett, photographer and curator
By reinterpreting images that already exist in the public domain, Icons of Rhetoric played on an aesthetic of authenticity.
Read more about the Icons of Rhetoric research project.