Contemporary Art (9) Nathalie Djurberg

Nathalie Djurberg (b. 1978 BirthLysekil, Sweden) – young multimedia artist, lives and works in Berlin. She has won the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Artist at this year’s 53rd Venice Biennale. She was awarded for her multimedia installation “Experiment” (above – first photo shows the work still in progress).

Gothic, rich, visceral and provocative work of this girl could not to leave any mark on the viewers’ collective and individual consciousness. I met people who hated it, yet still remained under its dark spell respecting the way this artist had teased their common sense of civilized, dignified beings.

Djurberg’s theater of absurd – devil’s Eden of huge, colorful wax vegetation was seasoned with caves of screens where the true drama of life, lust, violence and death went on over and over again. Sounds were those of some tribal ‘mysteria’ inter-weaved with some primordial  sub-resonance of deep earthy tones which went on creeping into one’s unconscious. Child-like fascination with this chaotic, pre-rational microcosm battled with one’s impulse to treat the entire spectacle as pure fiction, a theater performance with no or little valid reference to the ‘real’ life outside that extravaganza…

Nothing more deceptive… Djurberg’s worldview is hyper-real and indulgent in parts – indeed – yet it’s much more realistic in its portrayal of the human nature and the Nature in itself than many works of so-called ‘Realism’ in art, where polite and dull landscapes or family portraits were given to the public as the ‘truthful’ depiction of life and man…

‘It’s a strange world’ and ‘Owls are not what they seem’… Let’s Breughel’s, Goya’s, the Romantics and the Surrealists’ dreams go on …

About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

One response to “Contemporary Art (9) Nathalie Djurberg

  • Stan

    It’s certainly visceral work, but it seems darkly funny too — so outrageous it becomes almost comical. Not unlike some of Jan Svankmajer’s animation. As you suggest, it is a kind of body horror that is very much grounded in reality: just a bit exaggerated, but not so alien from what our own bodies do every day, with their constant digesting, excreting, decaying, and so on. These processes should be familiar to us, but there is a broad tendency to ignore or even repress them.

    The installation looks interesting. Although I appreciate the camera operator’s effort, it’s a bit frustrating not to be able to wander around at will, and immerse oneself in the created environment!

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