#FaceXchange 3: Another Face in the Wall
Like our more traditional currency exchanges, these gifs exhibit a transaction which is completed within 24 hours and has a final value pleasingly close to the original.
50 Israeli lirot – Chaim Wiezmann / Sir Ben Kingsley
The first President of Israel features prominently on this 1973 banknote, giving a wry stare into the middle distance as he presumably performs the mental gymnastics that allowed him – in his side gig as a legit scientist – to make discoveries that would lead to him being crowned the father of industrial fermentation. Watch as his cool gaze transmogrifies into the amused yet terrifyingly intense expression that Sir Ben employed in the role of Sexy Beast’s scene-stealingly psychotic gangster Don Logan.
1 Soviet Union ruble – unidentified worker / Ben Affleck
This 1938 note from communist Russia celebrates the proletariat with a strapping chap marching out of the note’s margins brandishing a mysterious sort of tool/weapon. Perhaps we are to understand that tools are the weapons of the workers. Nevertheless, it is hard to look at this rousing image without picturing Ben Affleck in his role as Matt Damon’s resolutely working class best friend Chuckie Sullivan in Good Will Hunting, albeit in a world where Chuckie had obtained a time machine and gone postal.
5 dollars, Erie and Kalamazoo Rail Road Bank – Addison J. Comstock / Matthew McConaughey
This detail from an 1853 banknote issued by the delightfully-named Erie and Kalamazoo Rail Road Bank of Adrian, Michigan features a portrait of the town’s founder Addison J. Comstock. He also happened to be one of the bank’s major stockholders and the founder of a Michigan village that he humbly christened ‘Addison’. It’s hard to imagine Comstock having much in common with bongos-and-marijuana enthusiast Matthew McConaughey besides their borderline identical faces.
1000 Pakistani rupees – Muhammad Ali Jinnah / Peter Capaldi
Here, the 1st Governor-General of Pakistan glares sternly over the number 1000 before breaking out into the sly grin of the 12th Doctor Who. One is haunted by a decades-long struggle to establish an independent state for Indian Muslims, the other by a chronologically confused pursuit of friendship and meaning across a lonely universe. Only the former has so far been successful.
5 Indian rupees – King George VI / Nigel Farage
This 1950s-era 5 rupee is unique in being the only banknote to bear the signature of the first non-English governor of the Reserve Bank of India, C.D. Deshmukh. Meanwhile, King George VI display a frankly uncanny resemblance to professional agitator and occasional UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Sadly, the resemblance is only skin deep; German-descended George VI married UK native Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and provided comfort to his country during a time of intense national anxiety. Nigel Farage, on the other hand…