shreddering the European banknotes

Thomas Kellner: 22#14.4, 500 Austrian Shilling, 2000, C-Print, 26,8x17,6 cm/10,5"x6,9", edition 20+3

In the year 2000 when the new currency Euro was being printed, I realised that my way of photographing the architectures was very close to the process of shredding. All former banknotes of 12 countries were exchanged to the new Euros and the old money was shredded. I dedicated an important amount of time to this project, as it seemed to be a unique chance in my lifetime. Such a major change of currency I would probably not experience a second time.
The way of deconstructing the single banknotes this time was less working on the subject, but more giving the process of shredding an image.  And it was about finding one form for the process the old banknotes would go through.
It became a strange experience to go every day to my bank and receive full sets of banknotes, country by country. To me it was just paper with images on it and I tried not to think about the values I was carrying around. Till today I specially like the design and all the differences in the banknotes, their very typical aesthetics showing the countries’ identities and specially the moving heads and portraits of different origin.

Currencies going into the Euro or not, that I photographed: Austria, Austrian Shilling; Belgium, Belgian Francs; Denmark, Danish Kronas; Finland, Finish Marks; France, French Francs; Germany, German Marks; Great Britain, British Pounds; Greece, Greek Drachmen; Ireland, Irish Pounds; Iceland, Icelandic Krones; Italy, Italian Lira; Luxembourg, Luxembourg Francs; Netherlands, Dutch Gulden; Norway, Norwege Portugal, Portugese Escudos; Spain, Spanish Pesetas; Sweden, Swedish Krones; Switzerland, Swiss Francs; USA, American USD; Japan, Japanese Yen.

 

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