23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Matias Faldbakken
© Dan Petter Nergaard

Matias Faldbakken

Norwegian writer and artist Matias Faldbakken was born in Hobro, Denmark, in 1973 and grew up in Hamar, Norway. Faldbakken studied at the Vestlandets Art Academy in Bergen between 1994 and 1998, including a year with Thomas Bayrle at the State University of Fine Arts – Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main (1996–97). As an artist, Faldbakken works with various mediums and techniques such as photography, video, installation, and murals. The works and projects, which he has created with the artist Gardar Eide Einarsson, have been shown at many international exhibitions. Faldbakken and Einarsson also founded the Bergen Museum for Samtidskunst in 1998. In addition, Faldbakken was co-curator of the Oslo Kunsthall in 2000 and, together with Einarsson, was editor-in-chief of the Forum for samtidskunst of Unge Kunstneres Samfund, an association of young artists, from 2002 to 2004. In 2005 he represented Norway at the 51st Venice Biennale.

As a novelist, Faldbakken made his debut with the release of »The Cocka Hola Company« in 2001. Together with »Macht und Rebel« (2002) and »Unfun« (2008), the books make up the »Scandinavian Misanthropy« trilogy. The titillating novels provoke amorality, absurdity, and extremes, break taboos and question the self-centered consumerist culture of the West. The protagonists include prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, neo-Nazis, and violent offenders. Adaptations of »The Cocka Hola Company« and »Macht und Rebel« have been performed on various stages in German-speaking countries. In 2006, Faldbakken also wrote »Kaldt product: Et dukkehjem på nytt«(tr: Cold Product) based on Henrik Ibsen’s »A Doll’s House«, which premiered in 2007 at the Torshovteateret of the Oslo National Theater. Shorter texts on the intersection of literature, art, and documentation, previously published in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies, were collectively published in 2005 under the title »Snort Stories«. With his novel »The Hills« (2017; Eng. »The Waiter«, 2018) Feldbakken successfully portrayed »an intelligent, ironic, nostalgic reflection on our everyday life« (SWR). The plot of his latest novel »Vi er fem« (2019; tr: We are Five) takes place near Oslo, where the youthful and reckless Tormod Blystad leads a peaceful life with his wife and two children. When the family gets a small dog that eventually disappears, Tormod creates a clay substitute in his workshop to comfort the children, inadvertently challenging unseen forces whose powers he underestimates.

Feldbakken was awarded the Bjørnsonstipendet, the ITB Book Award, and the Norwegian Critics’ Prize for Norwegian Literature. He lives and works in Oslo.


Watch Matias Faldbakken at the 20th ilb on our YouTube-Channel: https://youtu.be/mKtTSW5y-ik


The Cocka Hola Company

Skandinavische Misanthropie


München, 2003 [Ü: Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel]

Macht und Rebel

Skandinavische Misanthropie II


München, 2005 [Ü: Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel]

Snort Stories


Oslo, 2005

Kaltes Produkt

Hartmann & Stauffacher

Köln, 2008 [Ü: Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel]


Skandinavische Misanthropie III


München, 2009 [Ü: Maximilian Stadler]

The Hills


München 2018 [Ü: Maximilian Stadler]

Wir sind fünf


München, 2020 [Ü: Maximilian Stadler]