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Virtuella identiteter och antibiografi i Tobias Bernstrups konstnärskap

Journal article
Authors Viveka Kjellmer
Published in LIR.Journal
Volume 5
Pages 163-173
ISSN 2001-2489
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Cultural Sciences
Pages 163-173
Language sv
Keywords Tobias Bernstrup, anti-biography, identity, multimedia, avatar
Subject categories Art History


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 traditional biographical perspective is misleading in his case and propose “anti-biography” as a concept better suited to understanding 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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