May 21, 2007


Exhibition news: Kahn & Selesnick’s latest project Eisbergfreistadt is currently on show at the Pepper Gallery, Boston, and will run there until June 9th.

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.
Detail from 'Snake Boat,' archival pigmented print, by Kahn & Selesnick, 2007.
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.
'The King of Birds,' playing card design by Kahn & Selesnick, 2006. 'The One of Smokestacks,' playing card design by Kahn & Selesnick, 2006.
'The One of Thorns,' playing card design by Kahn & Selesnick, 2006. 'The King of Icebergs,' playing card design by Kahn & Selesnick, 2006.

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.

'Funfzig Millionen Mark,' (Fifty Million Mark) banknote design in casein on paper by Kahn & Selesnick, 2007.


Posted by misteraitch at May 21, 2007 01:38 PM

These are truly lovely. I lovely playing cards that create a panorama when placed together.

Posted by: Curious Expeditions on May 25, 2007 11:29 PM
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