Virtuella identiteter och antibiografi i Tobias Bernstrups konstnärskap

Viveka Kjellmer


Viveka Kjellmer

»Virtual identities and anti-biography in the works of Tobias Bernstrup«

Swedish multimedia artist Tobias Bernstrup (b. 1970) works
in a transboundary universe where reality and fiction merge.
I examine how computer games and virtual identities can be understood as artistic tools. I am especially interested in how Bernstrup’s use of his own body in his artworks relates to a biographical approach, and how he uses multiple media forms to portray identities. Discussing examples of Bernstrup’s art in relation to a biographical interpretation, I show that a traditio- nal biographical perspective is misleading in his case and propose »anti-biography« as a concept better suited to under- standing the biographical as non-personal. The artist’s body becomes a tool expressing generic anti-biography. The artist wears fictional biographies, all with traits borrowed from Bernstrup, but at the same time demonstrating that identity is created and negotiable. I conclude that Bernstrup’s exposure of his own body should be interpreted as referencing not his person but his artistic universe, with his body becoming a metalanguage to express something deeply human rather than personal.


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