..........................................................................................................................................................


..........................................................................

Lars Arrhenius (SE)
The Street

In Lars Arrhenius’ humorous animated cartoon about our society, everyday life is a rationalized piece of machinery gone wild. Society can become so rationalized and characterized by routines that it seems almost irrational, says Arrhenius.


How would you describe your work?

Lars Arrhenius The Street is a six-minute animated cartoon showing life in an apartment building during 24 hours. Our daily routines are presented as the workings of an accelerated cuckoo clock. Every person contributes as a cog in the machinery and together they make this tragicomic musical-docusoap work.

It could seem as if you are critical of the way we live together in everyday life? Is the animated cartoon a criticism?

LA The Street exaggerates our routines and after a couple of loops it turns claustrophobic. Certainly, security is wonderful in a functional society but it can also turn into a cage. So this cartoon can be perceived as a critical image but also as a celebration of society.

What inspired your work with the cartoon?

LA Apart from The Street, which is about society, I have done two other pictogram cartoons: The Man Without Qualities about the individual and Habitat about the places we inhabit. The French moviemaker Jacques Tati and the Flemish 16th century painter Pieter Bruegel are two of my favourite artists who inspired The Street. Tatis’ movie Playtme from 1967 forms an obvious source of inspiration because he keeps the camera at a distance and with a recording gaze he captures the machinery of modern society with humour and criticism. Bruegel was also interested in the collective with its strengths and weaknesses. As for the pictogram, Otto Neurath who was pioneer within pictogram development in the 1920s and 30s inspired me greatly. On its own, the pictogram is boring and one-dimensional but wen you put more of them together you can describe a society or a human being in flesh and blood. I do not want to develop the pictogram into a language but use it to express the irrational rationality of man.

The window of Damsø Kiosgen, Ålekistevej 46 all days 9am-10pm

Photo: Malene Nors Tardrup