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Kenk

Filmed footage of bicycle thief and Slovenian immigrant Igor Kenk is transformed into a remarkable interactive, black-and-white comic book over documentary audio footage.

Slovenian immigrant Igor Kenk was filmed in and around his second-hand bicycle shop in Toronto – until his arrest for bike theft. The footage forms the raw material for a remarkable black-and-white comic book, or “graphic portrait,” as the Canadian filmmakers call it.

Photographic material was first passed through a copy machine and then graphically altered with scratches, marks and dark black lines around the figures. The comic book’s narrative style is also inspired by documentary cinema in that it uses voice-overs, archive material, flashbacks and “flash-forwards,” and also switches between wide shots and atmospheric close-ups. The comic book is the basis for a planned extended animation documentary. Meanwhile, “the world’s most prolific bicycle thief,” as the New York Times called him, is given plenty of opportunity to express – in his inimitable English – his vision of the world in general and modern consumerism in particular.

Kenk is a compulsive collector of scrap, which he uses to refurbish his old bicycles – it’s not his fault if they’re sometimes stolen. And if he bawls at people or kicks them, it’s for their own good. He simply cannot accept consumer society, even if his livelihood does depend on it – along with his wife, a successful pianist.

KENK – Teaser from Craig Small on Vimeo.

Project details

Year of development :2010
Created by:Alex Jansen/Craig Small

Available formats

Official website

http://www.kenk.ca