'L'Art Pour L'Art Is Not a Concept in North Korea'
A Conversation with Art Historian Koen De Ceuster
Art historian Koen De Ceuster on North Korean art studios, the country's own tradition of Socialist Realism, and the emotionality and originality of the North Korean artists as historiographers.
The conversation between Kathleen Bühler and Koen De Ceuster was co-hosted with the Kunstmuseum Bern and the Swiss Alpine Museum.
Koen De Ceuster is a historian of modern Korea at Leiden University (the Netherlands). His research deals with the socio-cultural history of colonial Korea, the historiography of modern Korea, and more broadly the politics of memory. He is a recognized authority on North Korean art, reading North Korean art and art practices through the lens of North Korean art theory. He has (co-) curated several exhibitions of North Korean art, established an annotated digital database of North Korean posters (hosted by the Asian Library, Leiden University), and publishes on North Korean art theory and practice. Following ethnographic fieldwork among North Korean artists in 2018, he is currently working on a book project From the Painter’s Perspective: Explorations into North Korean Art. ]
Kathleen Bühler studied art history, film studies and philosophy and received her PhD from the University of Zurich on the experimental film work of Carolee Schneemann (Marburg 2009). 2021 she was nominated Chief Curator of Kunstmuseum Bern. Before that she has been curator and head of the Department of Contemporary Art since 2008. Solo Exhibitions with Tracey Emin (2009),Yves Netzhammer (2010), Berlinde De Bruyckere (2011), Zarina Bhimji (2012), Bill Viola (2014), Bethan Huws (2014), Silvia Gertsch/Xerxes Ach (2015/16), Miriam Cahn (2019),Thomas Hirschhorn ("Robert Walser-Sculpture" as part of the 13th Swiss sculpture exhibition Biel 2019) and El Anatsui (2020).