Rebranding Denmark and NYC premiere of The Working Life at Nordic Outbreak NYC
SUPERFLEX artworks were exhibited at the NYC launch of NORDIC OUTBREAK, an internationally touring exhibition of over 30 Nordic artists curated for public space. Rebranding Denmark (2006) was shown at Big Screen Plaza, the NY premiere of The Working Life (2013) was screened at Scandinavia House during the Nordic Outbreak Symposium. Burning Car was exhibited in the Nordic Outbreak tour.
THE WORKING LIFE
The Working Life (2013) is a 9.50 minute film addressing the work situation from a therapeutic perspective. Also viewed on Vimeo
The current economic crisis has left labour markets in turmoil. There are no work guaranties even with a higher educational degree; longer working hours are demanded of those in jobs; salaries are cut and availability is requested at all times. With growing fears of loosing the vital workplace, uncertainty of the perspectives for the future spreads through societies. To have or not to have a job is the main defining factor, not just when it comes to survival, but also when it comes to holding on to ones own identity as an included member of society. But how does one behave as a good citizen, when the willingness to work and the seemingly contradictory structural need for some unemployment to keep wages low, both seem to be central demands of the crisis economy? This and other paradoxes create the whirlpool of an even deeper personal crisis and confusion.
A hypnotist guides us through the labyrinth of The Working Life in search of relief or perhaps even a way out – if such exists.
The film is produced by Pasha Parts. Commissioned by the Mead Gallery in association with the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, England. Year 2013.
Credit List: Script: Nikolaj Heltoft & SUPERFLEX Hynotist: Tommy Rosenkilde Director: Caroline Sascha Cogez Cinematography: Magnus Jønck Camera Assistant: Ivan Molina Carmona Grip:Christian Broe Brondum DIT: Rasmus Jørgensen Sound: Morten Bak Jensen Sound Design/Composer: Mads Heldtberg Editor: Copenhagen Brains Thank you Only Rental, Sille Martens
Rebranding Denmark (2006) shows an animated version of a Danish burning flag in 8 steps. Rebranding Denmark has its starting point in the political crisis in Denmark from 2006 known as the Cartoon Crisis. Denmark was condemned by the international Islamic world due to the publication of 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper. As a result large demonstrations and attacks on Danish Embassies followed in many countries in the Middle East. Here, burning the Danish flag also became a symbol of the revolt.
The slow burn of destruction suggests the eventual, imminent collapse of consumer-driven society
Burning Car (2007) is a film work by SUPERFLEX of an empty car on fire. Filmed in a single long take, with a deadpan cinematic approach that features smooth panning shots and close-ups, “Burning Car” plays with the seductive vocabulary of car advertisements. The film can be seen as a response to the riots sweeping through Western Europe in 2005-2007 and media depictions of political unrest, turning the burning car into a potent symbol for disorder.
SUPERFLEX is an artists’ group founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen. SUPERFLEX describe their projects as Tools. A tool is a model or proposal that can actively be used and further utilized and modified by the user.
SUPERFLEX is a Danish collective, founded in 1993 by Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger, and Rasmus Nielsen. The group has gained worldwide recognition for their projects that deal with such issues as financial and economic markets, democratic production conditions, self-organization, and environmentalism. SUPERFLEX bases their international projects on what they describe as “counter-economic strategies,” which aim to question power structures, agency and ownership by prodding at their limitations.
The exhibition “Flooded McDonald’s” comprises three of SUPERFLEX’s most recent film projects. In “Flooded McDonald’s” (2009), the centerpiece of the show, a meticulously reconstructed true-to-life replica of the interior of a McDonald’s restaurant gradually floods with water – no customers or staff are present. Slowly, the water level rises until eventually the space becomes completely submerged. The 21-minutes film is not a specific critique of McDonald’s or the workings of a multinational company, but instead examines the consequences of consumerism. While the film remains open to interpretation it touches on such issues as climate change and natural disasters.
The four-part video work “The Financial Crisis” (I–IV) (2009) approaches the current financial breakdown as a psychosis that can be treated therapeutically via hypnosis. A professional hypnotist takes the viewer through four different stages of the crisis (The Invisible Hand, George Soros, You, Old Friends). The hypnotherapeutic narrative ranges from enthrallment in the system of speculation to complete loneliness from having lost everything.
“Burning Car” (2007)—the first film by SUPERFLEX—depicts an empty car on fire. Filmed in a single long take, with a deadpan cinematic approach that features smooth panning shots and close-ups, “Burning Car” plays with the seductive vocabulary of car advertisements. The film can be seen as a response to the riots sweeping through Western Europe in 2005-2007, and media depictions of political unrest. In many ways, it confronts the cheap sensationalism that turned the burning car into a potent symbol for disorder.
SUPERFLEX work and live in Denmark and Brazil. Their work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions.
SUPERFLEX Blågårdsgade 11B DK-2200 Copenhagen Denmark Tel.: +45 3534 3462 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org