In the hands of Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg, animation becomes a medium for transgressive and nightmarish allegories of desire and malcontent.
Walker Art Center
The Parade: Nathalie Djurberg with Music by Hans Berg
September 8–December 31, 2011
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
In the hands of Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg, animation becomes a medium for transgressive and nightmarish allegories of desire and malcontent. Since 2001, she has honed a distinctive style of filmmaking, using the pliability of clay to dramatize our most primal urges—jealousy, revenge, greed, submission, and gluttony. Set to music and sound effects by her collaborator, Hans Berg, Djurberg’s videos plumb the dark recesses of the mind, drawing sometimes disturbing connections between human psychology and animal behavior. Increasingly, the artists’ interdisciplinary collaborations have blurred the cinematic, the sculptural, and the performative in immersive environments that pair moving images and musical compositions with related set pieces.
This fall, the Walker Art Center premieres The Parade (2011), Djurberg’s most ambitious multimedia installation to date. For this all-new body of work, she has created five captivating animations and an unnerving menagerie of more than 80 freestanding bird sculptures. Drawing on avian physiology, rituals of mating and territorial display, and the social phenomenon of flocking, she has assembled a fantastical procession of species all fashioned from modest materials such as clay, wire, and painted canvas. These hybrid, sometimes monstrous forms speak to the artist’s recurring interest in physical and psychological transformation, as well as pageantry, perversion, and abjection. In the accompanying claymation videos, humans and animals alike act out upsetting scenarios of torture, humiliation, and masquerade, further mining the interplay of brutality and guilt at the heart of Djurberg’s work. Berg’s eerie film scores—composed of elements both found and invented—suffuse the entire installation, merging to form a unified soundscape. With these films, both artists have begun to conceive narrative in spatial terms as aspects of character, setting, sound, and action migrate from one story to the next across the exhibition space.
The exhibition is curated by Eric Crosby and Dean Otto for the Walker Art Center.
After its premiere in Minneapolis, the exhibition will travel to the New Museum, New York (May 11–July 8, 2012) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (October 13, 2012–January 27, 2013).
A fully illustrated catalogue with texts by exhibition curators Eric Crosby and Dean Otto accompanies the exhibition. Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers. ISBN 978-1-935963-04-2. Available at shop.walkerart.org.
The Walker is also pleased to announce the publication of Nathalie Djurberg’s first limited edition sculpture. The Bird Edition (2011)—which has evolved directly from the sculptural scenario Djurberg created for The Parade—consists of 18 unique objects (plus 2 AP) fabricated and hand-painted by the artist in Berlin. For more information, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Artists
Born in Lysekil, Sweden in 1978, Nathalie Djurberg received her MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2002, and since that time she has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions around the world. Most notably, in 2009 she presented her installation The Experiment in the exhibition Making Worlds at the 53rd Venice Biennale, for which she was awarded the prestigious Silver Lion for a Promising Young Artist. She currently lives and works in Berlin with Hans Berg.
Hans Berg was born in Rättvik, Sweden in 1978. He is a Berlin-based electronic music producer and self-taught musician. He began playing the drums in punk and rock bands at the age of fourteen. By fifteen, Berg started creating electronic music—which he has made ever since—when he purchased his first synthesizer and sampler. Berg and Djurberg met in Berlin in 2004. Since then, he has composed the music for all of her films and installations.
The Parade: Nathalie Djurberg with Music by Hans Berg is made possible by generous support from Miriam and Erwin Kelen. Additional support is provided by Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual Artists.
Photo: Cameron Wittig.
Courtesy the artists, Zach Feuer Gallery, New York, and Giò Marconi, Milan.
© Nathalie Djurberg.