Eisbergfreistadt documents the creation of this principality which is inspired by an actual incident in 1923, when a mammoth iceberg ran aground in the Baltic port of Lübeck, towering over the town and terrifying the populace. Many decided (not unreasonably) that the iceberg caps were melting and the apocalypse coming. This event inspired gloomy cafe songs and penny dreadfuls, even a deck of playing cards.
Many notgeld and inflationary currencies were issed for the Eisbergfreistadt. Manifestos were published, and posters put up declaring the state's new ideals, citizenship requirements, etc. Products started appearing: butter, lard, chocolate (of surprisingly high quality) etc, all stamped with the Eisbergfreistadt logo. Although the creation of the Eisbergfreistadt is an actual historical incident, it is not clear to what extent it actually existed.
Copies of the playing cards designed for the exhibition, four of which are shown above (the King of Birds, & One of Smokestacks; the One of Thorns, & King of Icebergs) can be purchased from the duo’s website. A booklet containing the same designs is also available. See also my previous entries about K&S’s Scotlandfuturebog and Apollo Prophecies projects, and last year’s brief mention of Eisbergfreistadt, here. These images are all copyright © Kahn & Selesnick, 2006-07, and are reproduced here with permission.