Triple Chris
FAB 36 - Ingrid Falk, Gustavo Aguerre & Christoffer Barnekow
Tusen och en kväll
TV 1 / Bildjournalen
10 min. TV Program 21:00 14 Dec. 1999
Triple Chris

A possible development of Cultural Television programs following the markets rules to catch more viewers by crossing-over culture with entertainment.

Dressed ass two cloned clowns, copies of the well known Cristoffer Barnekow, host of the famous Art program Bildjournalen, FA+ succeeded in pissing off the entire Swedish Cultural Establishment. Again.


Extract from Discursively Yours

I would describe the work of FA+ as a continuous effort to make effects of borders felt among their audience. Their method is to ask: are you included in the community or not, do you share it or not, and what difference does it make? In December 1999, FA+ made their intervention ”Triple Chris” in a Swedish national TV broadcast art program. The two artist appeared as imitations of the program host Christopher Barnekow with the same clothes and hair style. I have to bring up Homi Bhabha’s concept of mimicry in relation to FA+. Bhabha says that colonial discourse that implies cultural assimilation, mimicry, works in double directions. In one sense, something that is almost the same may be understood as a wished for sign of acceptance, an incomplete identification and a gesture of celebration and respect. In another sense it implies a critique of the imitated object. The one who is imitated looks back on a distorted and ridiculous image of himself, and the lack of recognition hurts his self image. Mimicry becomes subversive. The parallel with the Barnekow TV show is obvious. The flattering experience of being selected to appear on TV, in the company with three other highly respected representatives of the Swedish art society, provided an excellent context for the intervention. Under disguise, the artists/program hosts presented a short inquiry about the international status of Swedish art – completely subjective and brutally dismissing Swedish art. However, the inquiry differed only slightly from the program’s standard routines and the other panelists’ lists of their favorite artists of the century. The subjective nature of the selective process and the questionable use of ”artistic value” in the art world became painfully evident. FA+ could proceed under the guise of joking mimicry, but after the program they were taken to task by the other panelists. Undermining the basis of authority is a serious offence in the an world where status is everything.

By Charlotte Bydler - PhD in Art History, art critic and curator. Teaches in the Institution for Media, Art and Philosophy.

December 1999, the end of the century’s hysteria keeps the world busy and, in every country, a cultural inventory is done. The professional opinion-machine switches on. Brigades of self titled experts frown their collective brows, ready for their collective verdict. The best of the century. The Beatles, of course. It says more about the age and belongings of collective expertise then of the music of a century.

Sweden does not abstain. A cultural mega-program is planned for TV1; hundred years of creative activity from this corner of Scandinavia would be reviewed during three hours; hundred years of song, film, images, poetry, theatre. It’s asking allot. But not for the experts. Incredible as it seems, there are some that do not question a review of 100 years of literature in just three minutes. It requires a lot of expertise to accomplish that.

Sune Nordgren

Cecilia Nelson....David Neuman

Bildjournalen (Picture Magazine), a well known television art magazine and its conductor, Christoffer Barnekow, receive the honor to squeeze one hundred years of art-isms, names, techniques, materials, madness, genius, trends and all that is, the essential in Swedish art in just 10 minutes time. To avoid any chance of subjectivity, there is not only one but three experts invited on the discussion panel. 100 years at three minutes per capita equals 6.6 months to be dissected per second.

The guests: Sune Nordgren, Director of the Art Museum of Baltic Mill, New Castle, England, comet career - on his way towards art world hyper-space. Cecilia Nelson, director of Lund Art Hall, female presence, a "must" for every panel. David Neuman, Director of Magazine 3, the most important private art space in Sweden, educated in USA, loves North American art, his specially.

To avoid the cliche three people sitting on a sofa talking polite to one another kind of situation (boring), Bildjournalen invites the appropriate artists to close the Swedish cultural century: FA+.

FA+ vision: To do something exclusively for television: you have to do Television. Nothing more popular and entertaining than the colorful game show program hosting a panel of experts. The program will be broadcast live to all the Swedish homes that are starving for culture.


FA+ argue: 3 minutes for each guest is too long, too boring. One minute is enough for a real expert. Twenty-months of history in a second is a reasonable request to ask.

FA+ want to host the program. However, Christoffer Barnekow insists keeping his role as the host. So: Everybody is going to be Christoffer Barnekow… wear the same clothes, same glasses, hairdo… one male Swedish Christoffer, a female Swedish Christoffer and an immigrant Christoffer. Triple Chris. Equality is always correct.


The program begins with a short enquiry by international experts
from London, Paris, Milan, and New York regarding the international status of Swedish art.

The international experts say they know nothing about Swedish art, they know the Grand Masters Zorn, Baertling, Fahlström and Ikea.

In contemporary art they know only of the group FA+. Strange coincidence.


Luigi Pellegrini

Our endless love to Luigi

Scandal! The World knows nothing on Swedish Art but FA Plus!!!


The three panelists answer three (absurd) questions. For each right answer, they win a brush. Nobody answers right. All the brushes go to the lady. That is justice.

... ..
Ö. Fahlström
The panelist have 60 seconds to elect the three most important Swedish Artists of The Century. The results: Ö. Fahlström (3 points), C. F. Hill (2 points), O. G. Carlsund and B. Hjorth, (1 point each). The artist of the century: Ö. Fahlström. That says more about the age and taste of the experts than about Swedish art of the last century.

To get The Ultimate Swedish Art Work for the 1900 Century we mixed work's of those Masters and the result it's nothing but >

The Swedish 1900 Hundred Century Masterpiece, by FA+:


To raise spirits, give hope and keep up the belief that through Culture / Art we will become better human beings The Grand Finale takes place. Slowly, a chorus enters on the camera wearing ponchos with the letters F+A printed.

Kind of Religious Order?

Everyone begins singing, holding each other’s hands - Kumbaya My Lord, Kumbaya… accompanied by Joan Baez.


With emotional words Christoffer Barnekow closes the program. Tears of JOY!

FA+ exult same Joy and Happiness for the success of bringing Art and Love to the Others, somewhere out there...

The Happy End.






Happy end?


Lights and cameras are turned off and technicians collect the equipment. Triple Chris breath out and run to remove their make up and wigs and change clothes.

They return laughing as Christoffer, Ingrid and Gustavo to join the others.

The atmosphere has change to one of a lynching. The three serious panelist look very serious, mumbling serious words: “… a catastrophe” “…the art is not to joke about” “…inexcusable” … ”the worst that has happened to Swedish art since years”. Nobody laughs or even smiles anymore. It wasn't funny at all; the production crew holding the distance between the three serious panelists and the two non-serious artists.

FA+ and Christoffer Barnekow are very surprised and do not understand the reaction, the three of them had a lot of fun.

The verdict is: FA+ it's unserious and disrespectful with the Art World.

In silence FA+ actually agree, but in some other way... Nevertheless right now they feel very uncomfortable, misunderstood and sad because the panelists did not enjoy to play the game along with them. Sorry for that.


Just a comment: It’s not The Art that cannot be joke with, artists did it and do it all the time (Duchamp!). The one thing not to joke about is the established structures that control and decides over the art world, those who have the power and make the rules of the game.

  Kumbaya My Lord, Kumbaya (a traditional slave-song)… means I will come back my lord, I will come back.

Kumbaya My Lord, Kumbaya

Love, G + I

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