The Cocka Hola Company - Skandinavische Misanthropie I
Book, 18.6 x 11.7 cm, 461 p, language: German, publisher: München: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, ISBN: 978-3453400528.
Materials: ink, paper
Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2024/680).
The debut novel of Norwegian writer Matias Faldbakken is a contemporary satire to end all satires. The Cocka Hola Company (first novel of the series Scandinavian Misanthropy Trilogy) is the ferociously funny chronicle of a war against the welfare society and its underlying values. Relying on most people’s inherent hypocrisy and double standards, Simpel and his band of social misfits to stage a series of equally amusing and revealing assaults on middle-class norms. Not since the early sixties has the clown-mask been used to spit out such bitter truths about the human condition in modern-day Western civilisation.
Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice
Scandinavian Misanthropy Trilogy’s protagonists struggle with postmillennial phenomena such as the ‘coffee-tableization of everything’ or the idea of the ‘survival of the hippest,’ and an unhealthy amount of hatred for everything around them. This vicious circle of the subversive – each critique in the cultural field being not only immediately absorbed but also turned into a cultural good, and therefore soon tuning into the mainstream – is also part of his topoi as a visual artist. His non-literary works also deal with the chasm between mainstream and underground, independence and commerciality, and the possibilities of an intervention of the artist and his utopias in the real world.
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