Untitled (Forest Janks)

Queens International 2016
April 10 – July 31, 2016
Queens Museum, NYC

*Organized by guest curator Lindsey Berfond and Queens Museum Director of Exhibitions Hitomi Iwasaki

Exhibition Site/Catalogue: queensmuseum.org/2016intl

Public Collection Events
Thursday, April 28 – Astoria
Saturday, April 30 – Corona Plaza
Saturday, May 14 – Jamaica Center
Saturday, June 4 – Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Eternal Insult QM QI16 install detail QM opening night QM opening night QM opening night Astoria Collection 4-28 Astoria Collection 4-28 Corona Plaza Collection 4-30 Corona Plaza Collection 4-30 Corona Plaza Collection 4-30 Corona Plaza Collection 4-30 Jamaica 5-14 Jamaica 5-14 Jamaica 5-14 Flushing Meadows / Corona Park 6-4 Flushing Meadows / Corona Park 6-4 Flushing Meadows / Corona Park 6-4



Janks Archive (Jerstin Crosby, Ben Kinsley, and Jessica Langley)
Founded 2012
The Eternal Insult, 2012-Ongoing
Video installation, sound; duration variable, looping
Courtesy the artists

janks \‘jaŋkz\ n, pl, slang [Alabama]
Jokes intended to directly insult the recipient by attacking personal attributes, often leading to verbal sparring

Janks Archive is conducting an investigation of insult humor -an ancient oral tradition- from cultures around the world. While intentions appear, at first, to be cruel, “janks” are in fact an integral aspect of human interaction, used as much to strengthen camaraderie as to establish dominance. The project documents this tradition through crowdsourcing and field recording, in which participants recite “janks” from memory and the collective gathers contextual information in an attempt to trace origins.

The Eternal Insult is a video installation that selects videos at random from the archive and plays them on opposing screens, placing the viewer in the center of an endless verbal duel, using footage collected in the United States, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Germany, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania. During Queens International 2016 Janks Archive will host collection events throughout Queens, and this content will be continually added to the installation.


Janks Archive (Jerstin Crosby, Ben Kinsley, and Jessica Langley)
Founded 2012
Untitled (Forest Janks), 2016
Inkjet print

Courtesy the artists

This photograph was staged in Finland during a research residency in which Janks Archive also traveled to Latvia and Lithuania collecting “janks.” They learned several jokes in various languages related to the forest. Four are presented here (left to right):

Romanian: inalt ca bradul si prost ca gardul
English: Tall as a pine tree, stupid as a fence
collected: Vaasa, Finland (12-17-2015)
origin: common Romanian expression

Latvian: Ej bekot!
English: Go pick mushrooms!
collected: Riga, Latvia (08-01-2016)
origin: traditional/classic Latvian insult, equivalent of “get lost” or “buzz off”

Lithuanian: prilipęs kaip lapas prie šiknos
English: clung like a leaf to the ass
collected: Kaunas, Lithuania (01-10-2016)
origin: old and common Lithuanian joke – a way to call someone annoying

Finnish: Hiuksesi ovat niinkuin metsä, eivät yhtä tiheät mutta yhtä täynnä elämää.
English: Your hair is like a forest. Not as thick but as full of life.
collected: Vaasa, Finland (12-19-2015)
origin: told to him by his father when he was a child