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The fables of Niki Lindroth von Bahr

In a filmmaker's studio


Exhibition produced in collaboration with the Swedish Institute, Paris, with the support of the City of Caen and Communauté urbaine Caen la mer.

Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s films convey a worldview tinged with both humour and angst. The stop-motion technique she uses to set her  characters in motion and tell a story requires long, painstaking work. She breathes life into little animals endowed  with very human traits and behaviour in a fresh take on the tradition of children’s fables.

These strange little creatures move around in familiar spaces (a supermarket, a hotel, a fast-food joint, a petrol station, a swimming pool, a  doctor’s  office) or more private locales (a call centre, a nuclear power station). The settings feature a host of meticulously reconstituted details. The characters, who are often tormented and lonely, ask questions about their own destiny and that of humanity ; they suffer, wait for a better life and express a need to bond with other animals – even those from other species. 

This exhibition turns the spotlight on Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s work via four films she made between 2010 and 2019. It reveals a creative process based on handmade craftsmanship, unlike many of today’s films that rely on digital trickery. This painstaking method is highlighted by drawings and storyboards taken from her notebooks, glimpses of her studio, materials she uses to make her animals and sets, and videos showing dancers and musicians involved in her projects (to which music brings an essential dimension). Film sets complete with characters have been brought in specially for the exhibition, along with photographs  of emblematic scenes that can also be seen as artworks in their  own right. Last but not least, quotes from films and books from which the artist draws inspiration give us further insights into her work.


The Burden (Min börda), 2017

Photography: Jorun Burman Berg

Niki Lindroth von Bahr

The work of Niki Lindroth von Bahr (born in Stockholm in 1984) is recognized today on the world stage. She is regularly invited to film festivals such as the Berlinale or Sundance and is awarded prestigious prizes such as, for her film My Burden (The Burden), the Crystal at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the for the best animated short film at Clermont-Ferrand or the Guldbagge Award (the equivalent of the Césars in Sweden). She also exhibits in art centers, including Färgfabriken in Stockholm. Her films are broadcast both on Arte and on Netflix, which is currently showing a dark and eccentric comedy, The House, of which she has signed one of the three chapters.



Drawing by Niki Lindroth von Bahr for the film The Burden, 2017

Around the exhibition

Library Alexis de Tocqueville, CAEN


• Thursday, March 30, 4 p.m. – auditorium 

Masterclass with Niki Lindroth von Bahr, aimed at students from schools of animation, visual arts and plastic arts, and open to the public, led by Jean-Christophe Perrier. 


• Friday, March 31, 6 p.m. – auditorium

Animal heroes and anti-heroes, stories for children
and older children. Meeting with Niki Lindroth von Bahr
and Grégoire Solotareff hosted by Jean-Christophe Perrier.


• Saturday, April 1, 4 p.m. – auditorium 

Meeting / screening in the presence of Niki Lindroth von Bahr, hosted by Jean-Christophe Perrier.


• Friday, April 14, 6:30 p.m. – auditorium  

Are the puppets alive?
Lecture by Jean-Christophe Perrier.


• Saturday April 15 – Espace Caen Nordic 

Animation workshops for all ages by Jean-Christophe Perrier.


• Sunday, April 2, 5 p.m. – Café des Images
4, theater square, Hérouville Saint-Clair

Carte blanche to Niki Lindroth von Bahr followed by a meeting with the director hosted by Jean-Christophe Perrier. THIS WAY

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