whois_webMagnus Bärtås — statement, bio, archives
Peio Aguirre — essay about “Who Is?”
Re-enacted biographiesnotes about adapting Bärtås’ work

Agence TOPO — the web project


Who is…?

is a body of work presenting with texts, photos and videos artist’s portraits created by Swedish artist Magnus Bärtås. These «biographies» articulate themselves around a series of statements, short sentences reconstituted through the memories of conversations between the author and the artists met randomly during journeys throughout the world.

Agence TOPO proposes a multimedia adaptation of Bärtås’ work. Taking for starting point the narrative method of the artist, Agence TOPO adds an element of creation to it by opening a section where the Net surfers can in their turn build a portrait. (Notes about adapting Bärtås’ work for the Web)

In its interactive form, the project plays with the questions of identity with the Internet. Between the “googlisation” of the people, the multiplication of the data banks and the self-representation of the Net surfers who draw themselves a profile real or idealized in the community’s sites, the questions of identity remain fundamental while being sources of fiction, of staging.

Translated into several languages (French, English, Spanish, Swedish, Russian and Latvian), the original work of Bärtås makes it possible TOPO to approach the universalization of the communities increasingly curious to communicate and elucidate the eternal mystery of Who is… Who?

Michel Lefebvre, Eva Quintas
Agence TOPO, June 2005
agence@agencetopo.qc.ca
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The web version of Who is…? is a production of Agence TOPO.
Direction : Michel Lefebvre, Eva Quintas
Design and multimedia creation : Vincent Archambault, Guy Asselin
Web narration : Catherine Plouffe
Sound recording : Thierry Gauthier
Videos, photographies, texts : Magnus Bärtås

The residency of Magnus Bärtås in Montréal is supported by the University of Gothenburg and the Embassy of Sweden in Canada. Agence TOPO thanks for their support the Canada Arts Council, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Institut des technologies de l’information du Cégep Maisonneuve.