Kenneth Steinbach How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the International Monetary System

The silkscreen prints shown in the Trykkeriet exhibit are part of a continuing exploration of works titled How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the International Monetary System that Kenneth Steinbach has been developing in diverse media and approaches over the past several years.  The series explores the visual characteristics and underlying behaviors of fiat currencies.  Fiat currencies are paper monetary systems willed into existence by government or para-government agencies. Their values are entirely defined by decree, without being backed by physical commodities, such as gold. The functions of these fiat systems are constantly challenged as they encounter real world circumstances, their values endlessly changing in cycles of expansion, decay, and political upheaval. Most modern currencies are fiat currencies.

 The works derive their imagery and compositional strategies from failed and devalued fiat currencies. The works use this imagery to evoke the precise but unpredictable logics that characterize the function and dysfunction of these monetary systems in diverse economies across the globe, systems that operate in simultaneously helpful and indifferent relation to human need and desire. The Trykkeriet exhibit includes large format silkscreen prints based on the failed currencies of more than a dozen countries, reinterpreting the imagery and functioning of these systems, finding alternative forms of value and meaning in their reinvention.

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