Untitled (Marching Soldiers; (Party Foundation Day) Pyongyang, North Korea; October 10, 2015)
About This Artwork
At issue in Robert Longo’s work is the fugitive nature of images in the contemporary media landscape. Pivotal events are forgotten as quickly as they are consumed. The fast pace and broad availability of media offers endless new pictures and stories of a politics that can threaten individual humanity through power and aggression. In Untitled (Marching Soldiers; (Party Foundation Day) Pyongyang, North Korea; October 10, 2018), Longo asks the viewer to slow down, indeed, to stop and take in the event. He sources a news image that would usually appear small in a newspaper or online illustrating a story and remakes it at a monumental scale. While the source image is a photograph, Longo uses charcoal to draw in photorealistic detail. Here Longo shows soldiers on display and projected to the world to commemorate the founding of the Communist Party in North Korea. Yet the image applies more widely, echoing a global rise in nationalist rhetoric and totalitarian discourse.