191129 Bundespolizei auf Johannes-Selenka-Platz, Braunschweig

Foto auf Fahnenstoff, 620 × 453 cm

This work “191129 Bundespolizei auf Johannes-Selenka-Platz,

Braunschweig” is a photograph from my photographic series that I shot last summer in South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Germany. In these four countries, I photographed the police officers that I encountered on the street to see how power through the police and military is presented and its relationship with the public. I mainly photographed police officers because they are considered to be the most widespread embodiment of power in society.

The demonstration of power functions very differently in the four different countries that I studied. I decided to show the work in this form so that you encounter yourself with identities that have a very specific historical background. Everyone comes from a different background, and therefore everyone has a different attitude, perspective, and interpretation. I was born and raised in South Korea. Officially, South Korea is still at war. After the Second World War, the USA and Soviet Union had a military presence in Korea. In 1950 there was a Korean War (an ideological war), and as a result there were military dictatorships that spanned over 20 years. The protests of the democratic movement, which at times were violent, only succeeded in the 1980s.

The work “191129 Bundespolizei auf Johannes-Selenka-Platz, Braunschweig” shows a Tank that, according to the Federal Police, acts to “support” and “protect” society. For me, the naming was inconceivable - why? I had been wondering all the time: how do we interpret things so differently, how the federal police attribute a support function to their weapons, and what form public power takes on after war in their own country.

In my environment, my generation, and in my home country, it is assumed that ordinary citizens should not encounter anything that could remind them of serious war in everyday life.

For me, this work is very personal and emotional, but it is still a starting point for the topic of how public power is presented today, how it deals with and affects citizens in public spaces. I am showing an oversized photo of a federal police tank on flag fabric on the outer facade towards Alter Pippelweg.

I want the picture to provoke the people walking by or the people who live in the Alter Pippelweg. To make it possible for them to experience a moment in which a picture of the mostly invisible state power is present.

12.2019 Braunschweig