There is a reality inside North Korea, and there is another outside. Which is the most stable?
For the past half decade an excess of images, simulations and caricatures of the North Korean leader have bombarded us. The idea of Kim Jong Il has become commodity. Our media of excess has repeated the mantra of simulation in bold headlines, in news-print and digital text : “Is Kim Jong Il really dead?”
Would we wish it so?
But our mistrust of the image keeps us deluded. Without a modern mythos through which to (un)interpret the iconographics of mass-media we allow excess to determine our narratives. Out trickle accusations of copies, clones, misidentities. Did Clinton meet a doppleganger?
The authority of the image is broken.
The digital transfiguration of the photograph has long since shifted the locus of the human body from ‘real’, fleshy space onto the shallow glare of the billboard, centre-spread and computer screen. The pixel becoming the absolute limit at which reality breaks down.
How will the next image of Kim Jong Il appear to us? And how will we overcome our mistrust? Where does the pixel end and reality begin?