Criticism is raining down on Danske Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in Northern Europe, for their latest marketing campaign ‘A new normal demands New Standards’. How and why this campaign ever saw the light of day is a big question for people in Denmark. For some, the ‘why’ overshadows the ‘how’, which for us has become the most pressing question in these past few weeks.
Danske Bank called on the advertising agency Mensch and artist-photographer Peter Funch, co-owner of Gallery V1 to produce the campaign. The gallery is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and is presenting, among others, famed artist and political activist Barbara Kruger, whose work has become emblematic with a practice of institutional critique and political awareness in a world where machinations, as she would call it, have lulled us to sleep with consumerism and false beliefs. Barbara Kruger has felt the embrace of the mainstream she calls out, and she would probably claim that there is no out, other than what you carve, with the very same weapons used by the market.