Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg (SE)
One Last Trip to The Underworld (2019)
Exhibition room: Hvelfing
Immersive installation with clay animation videos and sculptures.
Videos: One Last Trip to The Underworld, How to Slay a Demon (2019)
Sculptures: Spray paint on epoxy putty, steel, wood.
Exhibition room: Auditorium
Video: This is Heaven (2019)
Courtesy of the artists and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York/ Los Angeles.
Djurberg and Berg’s collaborative works conjure surreal landscapes that explore the shadows of the human subconscious. Using sculpture, stop-motion film, sound and immersive installation, the artists construct narratives that speak to emotional tension, conflict, sexual impulse, and violence.
Rendered through dark humour, with a hint of the absurd, Djurberg and Berg’s work explores an emotional gamut of fear, innocence, power, greed, and shame. The formal qualities of the work – seductive colours, visceral textures and hypnotic music – enhance the emotional dimension and challenge our way of seeing. In dissolving our perspective of morality and bias, Djurberg and Berg invite the viewer to consider our own fears and fantasies.
For this exhibition, the artists utilise the gallery space to create an environment in which the subconscious pervades, heaven and hell merge and distinctions between beauty and the grotesque are blurred. The four new films on view – One Last Trip to The Underworld, This is Heaven, Damaged Goods and How to Slay a Demon – explore themes of needing, longing, and personal evolution and regression. In the Hvelfing space, large-scale sculptures of birds perched on flowers create a forest-like landscape – sumptuous formations in vivid colours, which bring the animations to life and into real space. Experienced together, the totality of the environment takes the viewer to and from the depths of a dark underworld, speaking to our innermost conceptions of pleasure, pain, longing, and lust.
In creating all-encompassing environments where film, sculpture, and installation inform and activate one another, Djurberg and Berg’s work excavates the subliminal and brings to the surface the most repressed, primordial human drives. In an enthralling dynamic of magnetic attraction and aversion, the artists’ work evokes psychological and corporeal effects that push the limits of the human psyche to new frontiers.
For the past decade Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg have developed a robust visual and sonar lexicon to create a body of work that mines the intersections of anxiety and desire, trauma and satisfaction, repression, lust and power.
The artists’ collaborations have been exhibited widely around the world. In 2009, Djurberg & Berg presented their installation The Experiment at the 53rd Venice Biennial Making Worlds, curated by Daniel Birnbaum, where they were awarded the Silver Lion for Best Emerging Artists. They also received the Cairo Biennale Prize at the International Cairo Biennale in 2010 and the Premio Pino Pascali Award in 2012. Other important solo presentations include Kunsthalle Winterhur, Switzerland (2007); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2008); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2008); OMA Prada Transformer, Seoul (2009); Natural History Museum, Basel (2010); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2011); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2011); Camden Arts Centre, London (2011); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and New Museum, New York (2012); Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia (2013); ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark (2015); Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany (2015); Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2016); Stavanger Art Museum (MUST), Norway (2017); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2018); Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland (2019), among others.
Djurberg and Berg’s work has been included in group exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum, Ghent, Belgium (2010); Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland (2012); Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria (2013); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2014); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2015); Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York (2015); Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, Germany (2017) to name a few.
The artists’ works are represented in the collections of Fondazione Prada, Milan; Goetz Collection, Munich; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich; and the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, among others.