Lars Arrhenius

Samhällsteater (Society Theater)

16.1–20.2 2016, Specta, Copenhagen, Denmark

From Press Release:
In SPECTA we are proud to present the world premiere of Lars Arrhenius' latest film Samhällsteater (Society Theatre) - a 10-minute stop-motion film where different social systems are built up and broken down again. Right now, at a time when refugees move in large numbers, terrorism is present and border control redefine and test our organization of societies, the film seems very relevant.

The film's content is inspired by Lorenzetti’s frescoes in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena called "Allegory of Good and Bad Government" from 1338-39. At the time when there was unrest and where successive governments came to power and were overthrown again, Lorenzetti created the frescoes for Siena's town hall to remind the politicians about the effect of the corrupt, tyrannical leadership as a contrast to the honorable and decent.

In Lars Arrhenius’ Samhällsteater (Society Theatre) pictograms once again play roles, as in his previous animated film "The Man Without Qualities", "Habitat" and "The Street" - and the artist himself appears in the film as a theater director.

It was the philosopher Otto Neurath who, along with writer and graphic artist Gerd Antz, originally created hundreds of pictographs, which they called Isotypes. Otto Neurath founded the "Museum for Society and Economy" in Vienna (1925-1934), where isotypes were used as a simple and pictorial way to inform citizens of statistics and information on the city and society.

Samhällsteater (Society Theatre) is a continuation of Lars Arrhenius' work with the collective and the society. He has in recent years created the board game "Vällkommen til Samhället (Welcome to Society)" and the music album, "Sånge från Samhället (Songs from Society)" both on society as construction.

The music for Samhällsteater (Society Theatre) is made and performed by drummer Martin Jonsson, one of Sweden's most renowned drummers.

More information:

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