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Mar 19, 2017
Kunstnernes Hus Cinema, Oslo

FRANK

Krabstadt
Conversation with Ewa Einhorn and Jeuno JE Kim


For the March salon, we have invited the artists Ewa Einhorn and Jeuno JE Kim to screen their animated series Krabstadt. Krabstadt, the fictional universe in which the episodes are set, is an Arctic town where all the Nordic countries have sent their unwanted citizens: unemployed people, immigrants and other marginalized groups. The series offers a satirical take on current topics such as migration, integration, unemployment and gender issues. We will screen the episodes “Whaled Women” (2013) and “Sex & Taxes” (2015), following which FRANK collaborator and art historian Mathias Danbolt will join Einhorn and Kim in a conversation about the development of Krabstadt and the artists’ other projects.

Einhorn and Kim often create fictional organizations, institutions and utopian scenarios that function as frameworks for their critical interventions in real-world political debates, scenarios and discourses. The Krabstadt project is part of the pair’s long-term artistic examination of Nordic political and cultural history and image building. They use their artistic practice as a tool to research the effects and affects following the branding of the “Norden” region as being politically, economically and culturally exceptional.

Danbolt shares Einhorn and Kim’s interest in the cultural and moral aspects of the branding of Norden, and has written about the duo’s artistic project in the recent article “New Nordic Exceptionalism: Ewa Einhorn and Jeuno JE Kim’s The United Nations of Norden and other realist utopias” (Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, vol. 8, 2016). The post-screening conversation will take as its starting point Einhorn and Kim’s artistic strategies within and beyond the Krabstadt project, which utilizes animation and satire as tools of political subversion. The way the artists have introduced the Krabstadt series into the world, including turning pitching speeches and presentations into performances in their own right, also questions the presumed gaps between artistic integrity and the marketing of artistic products. In this way the politics of Einhorn and Kim’s series reaches beyond the films themselves.

The first episode of Krabstadt, “Whaled Women,” premiered at the Berlinale Shorts Competition 2013. The Krabstadt project has since been screened and displayed in numerous festivals and exhibition contexts, including the Cannes Film Festival, Moscow International Film Festival, Nordisk Panorama, Marabouparken Konsthall (Stockholm), Nikolaj Kunsthal (Copenhagen), Moderna Museet Malmö, Baltic Art Center (Visby) and Malmö Konstmuseum, among others.