48:e festivalen 24 jan - 2 feb, 2025

Niki Lindroth von Bahr is the 2024 Festival Artist

This year’s festival poster has been unveiled. In the artwork, Niki Lindroth von Bahr has been inspired by chess-playing computers and her characteristically humanized animal puppets, while also approaching this year's festival theme with both curiosity and criticism.

48:e festivalen
24 Jan -
2 Feb, 2025

The artist and animation director Niki Lindroth von Bahr is the 2024 festival artist at Göteborg Film Festival. In her work, Lindroth von Bahr often features animal puppets to the 2024 focus at Göteborg Film Festival: Another Intelligence.

What did you want to explore in your festival work?

“Since AI is the theme of this year’s festival, I knew I wanted to address that theme in some way. I’ve been inspired by one of the early events in AI history: when the chess computer Deep Blue defeated the world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. A clear encounter between human and machine where the human lost. There have also been incidents in the history of chess where players have been accused of cheating related to the use of computers. At the same time, chess in film and culture has become a symbol of life, death, and existentialism. Just look at The Seventh Seal! Therefore, I thought of an image of a control room for computer-controlled chess where we have just celebrated a victory, even though it may turn out to be a future loss for humanity. With the pig, I liked how there is something touching in the appearance of the pig itself. Humans also share 98 percent of our DNA with pigs. There’s something beautiful about that.”

en gris i kostym står i ett rum fullt med datorskärmar som visar pågående schackspel. Ett schackspel ligger tappat på golvet tillsammans med glas, en ölburk och två vinflaskor.
Buy the poster here

Your art contains an incredible level of detail. What is it about this way of working that attracts you?

“I get a thrill out of creating worlds and miniature environments that are right on the border of being perceived as real. At the same time, it’s very time-consuming. When I sat there with a tiny needle, painstakingly placing every hair strand on the silicone head of the pig, I really felt like there was something wrong with me. Besides the chess calculations on the screens that I added in Photoshop, everything in the festival work is handmade on a 1:6 scale.”

Animals often appear in your films and in your art, including this year’s festival poster. What is it about animals that interests you?”

“I often work with quite dark themes, and when you present us humans in animal form, something fragile and comical is added to otherwise human situations. It elevates the mood. Like when a killer snail sits at the doctor’s office getting its blood pressure checked. It’s a tragic image, but at the same time, it’s very funny. And that’s probably how life is: sometimes dark, but sometimes you just have to laugh at all the darkness.”

Interviewer: Simon Andersson

In 2017, Niki Lindroth von Bahr won the Startsladden at the Göteborg Film Festival with the short film “Min börda”. Now, the artist, director, and animator Niki Lindroth von Bahr returns to the festival as the festival artist. With a master’s degree in fine arts from the Royal Institute of Art, a Guldbagge award for best short film, and several films premiering at the Gothenburg Film Festival, Niki Lindroth von Bahr is one of the country’s most versatile creators.

Göteborg Film Festival’s first poster was created by Ernst Billgren in 1992 and since then the festival has had artists such as Dan Wolgers, Pussy Riot, Lars Lerin, Marie-Louise Ekman, Liv Strömquist, Annika von Hausswolff, Aida Chehregosha, Mamma Andersson, Charlotte Gyllenhammar and Lap-See Lam as poster artists.

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