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This Too Shall Pass

Note! Postponed until 2022

David Magnusson’s work This Too Shall Pass is an attempt to address the desperate situation of migrants in Europe today while trying to untangle the problems of representation within photography. For David Magnusson, the work emerged from a frustration with the inability to ever fully understand or communicate the history of another individual.

The exhibition revolves around a two-meter-wide enlargement of a screenshot from an online roleplaying game, depicting the very moment which made it possible for Yashar Maghsoudi to escape from Iran. In the image, the 13-year-old Yashar plays as the World of Warcraft Blood Elf Paladin “Nighetboy”, accomplishing one of the most difficult achievements in the game. Yashar could not realize the full significance of this until two years later when he was able to sell his virtual character in order to pay for his real escape, most likely saving his life. Consequently, by participating in a virtual conflict and managing to make it across the borders of a fictional world, it became possible for Yashar to cross the very real borders of Iran and Europe, and finally make it to Sweden.

This Too Shall Pass is a story about how the virtual world became a way to escape the real oppression in Iran, both figuratively and literally, and the work challenges the conventional distinction between reality and fiction in the documentary image.

Contact and information

Alexandra A. Ellis

Curator, documentary photography
+4690 20 20 338
alexandra.ellis@vbm.se

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