[…] “In this context I am above all talking about North Korea, which can only be traveled, visited, and photographed if you are accompanied by an officially authorized person, as the ideology of the Constitution makes a clear distinction between ‘desirable and undesirable culture’. Desirable is only what the ‘Juche Idea that pays great attention to the remoulding of men’ deems right. Memorials, monuments, mass sports and arts events in the honor of the Eternal President and the history of socialist North Korea strengthen the ‘might of the social community’2, whereas ‘subjectivism [...] is a way of thinking that contradicts the objective reality [...]. Such an approach is far from and thus inconsistent with a scientifically sound way of working. Those who lapse into subjectivism inevitably have to face failure.’3
Luca Faccio, the man with the subjective camera, went to North Korea six times between 2005 and 2013. His aim was to portray ‘the individual’, the human being against the reason of state. Not secretly, not taken from a hidden spot, but face to face, in agreement with the photographed person. But to be able to do so he first had to get the permission of the accompanying person, which always needed a lot of persuading. Persuading against an entire state ideology, not only against the opinion of an–in the eyes of this state ideology– unimportant individual!
The present book contains a selection of such photographs. They show persons who pose just like in a photo studio. After all they are looking at the photographer and thus at us. At the same time they ‘represent’ their environment, possibly their ideology, when standing in front of the portrait of the ‘Great Leader’ and his son the ‘Great General.’ What makes these photographs so special is the fact that they seem posed and natural at the same time. ‘Natural’ in their working and living environments. These photographs witness the existence of these persons who puzzle the viewers taking a look at them from afar. And that is exactly what is so unique about these photographs– they do not reproduce stereotypes but rather allow to ask questions. […]”

Lucas Gehrmann, from: “Luca Faccio, the Man with the Subjective Camera”, in: Luca Faccio: Common Ground, Nürnberg: Verlag für modern Kunst 2014, pp 24f.

© Luca Faccio