The artist Denise Bertschi highlights the little-known Swiss presence between the two Koreas in the aftermath of the war in 1953, and questions the supposed neutrality of the country.
This book takes a raw look at Switzerland's neutral mission in the Korean demilitarized zone and offers highly explosive findings in terms of geopolitical, sociological and photographic media history as an archival source for the Swiss photographic collection. Denise Bertschi's book exposes through the lens of photographers who were shot down by Swiss soldiers and senior officers stationed in Korea for a "neutral" mission, which lasted from 1953 to today. This book particularly explores the representation of the Swiss national self-image, its cohesion under the identity myth of so-called neutrality, the Swiss signature on the stage of world political events with tools from the paradigm of Swiss good offices. The gap between the fiction of "neutrality" and its state thoughts gives rise to State Fiction.
Published on th eoccasion of Denise Bertschi 's exhibition intitulée Oasis of Peace. Neutral Only On The Outside at Centre culturel suisse Paris in 2021.
Denise Bertschi (born 1983 in Aarau, lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland) is an artist-researche, working at the intersection of art, history and cultural memory. International exhibition activities and research took her to Brasil, South Africa and Korea, places of geopolitical entanglements that she weaves into Swiss historiographical memory and questions them on coloniality. Denise Bertschi's investigative practice translates into academic, as well as artistic forms through the use of media such as film, photography or installations.