Who is Kristian von Hornsleth?
Hornsleth’s works, whatever medium, are countercultural in every sense of the term, at once toying with, exploiting, and criticizing popular culture through their defiant attitude to social conformity. Driven by the symbolic representation of his name, Hornsleth’s work succeeds in engendering its momentum while simultaneously questioning the nature of publicity and celebrity culture at large. Often described as a cross between Friedrich Nietzsche, Andy Warhol, and Dr. House, one can always expect a certain playful or egotistical madness in Hornsleth’s work, refreshing and invigorating in its capacity to shock.
There seem to be at least two contradicting approaches in the work of Hornsleth. Firstly his confrontational navigation through contemporary culture built on his philosophy, which he calls Futilism, making one capable of using futility as such in a most constructive way. Secondly, his manic insisting on developing a symbolic representation of his name, ‘Hornsleth’, emblazoned across countless works he’s produced that now reach out all over Denmark and around the world. The word is ‘Hornsleth’, questioning the beauty of manipulation in an often countercultural manner and further questioning if the publicity is more important than the products it endorses, now spreading from branding Lamborghini’s to sculptures, provocative photographs, and people themselves.
Where does all this leave the contemporary person? The Hornsleth Village Project Uganda saw every individual in an African village change their name to Hornsleth in a simple exchange for a pig or a goat, and outrage ensued. Headlines spread worldwide, and questions about ethics arose, but you didn’t hear the villagers complain? Or should we say the Hornsleths? The Hornsleth Arms Investment Corporation drives questions home about the accepted face of capitalism, the nature of human relations to safety versus cruelty, and how commerce can spread the dilemma. Once the message is seen, it’s not forgotten. The Deep Storage Project is energizing a clarion call to mankind to try and save itself from itself and utilize art in a way that offers a possible chance to fight for the future of our species today.
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