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Hans Berg gives a unique live concert
Saturday, 5 March, 11.00 p.m.
During the Rotterdam Museum Night, the Swedish composer Hans Berg is giving a live concert accompanied by Nathalie Djurberg’s first stop-motion animation films. Her films and his music can be admired in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen from 5 March, in a presentation of some eighteen films dating from 2003 to the present. This ‘Snakes Knows it’s Yoga’ exhibition is the largest ever overview of their work.
The finishing touches are currently being made to the exhibition, which occupies the 1500 square metres of the museum’s Bodon Gallery. Coloured films and light have been used to create a fantastical atmosphere, in which the films and videos by Nathalie Djurberg (b. 1978) play the leading role. Ten of her films, including ‘Turn In To Me’, ‘On Fire’ and ‘The Experiment (Greed)’, are being projected onto large, suspended screens. The sculptures that are part of the ‘Snakes Knows it’s Yoga’ installation occupy a central position in the midst of these screens. Eight short films from the early years of Djurberg’s artistic career will be shown in a specially constructed ‘black box’.
Colour, light and music
A video portrait of Djurberg and Berg that explores their collaboration and working methods can be seen as part of the exhibition and on the arttube.boijmans.nl video channel. Colourful lighting is another important element in their work. At Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Djurberg has created a composition of coloured gels, which filters the daylight. The music of the composer Hans Berg serves as a guideline for the audience. His experimental compositions add an extra layer that allows the public to identify with the lead character(s) in Djurberg’s animations.
The Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg is best known for her films produced using stop-motion technique. At first these may seem sweet and innocuous, but her work tackles themes such as obsession, power, pleasure, desire and violence. In her films she consistently creates animated, surreal ‘fables’. Her world consists of apparently clichéd fairytales that derail into a battleground filled with death, sex and violence. In ’Snakes Knows it’s Yoga’, Djurberg explores the fear of death. In one of the films a naked young woman plays the lead role, going on an ecstatic dance with a colourful frog. She tries to lick the poisonous frog in order to attain higher spheres, as if in a shamanistic ritual. In another film a snake hypnotises a skinny man who is meditating, eventually overpowers this yogi and tears him apart.
Nathalie Djurberg creates her world using stop-motion, a labour-intensive technique that involved building up the film frame by frame. The figurines of coloured clay are remodelled into a new pose for each shot, which results in a jolty animation with a shaky backdrop and undisguised supporting threads. The artist chooses not to repair imperfections in the plasticine of the figurines nor to correct linguistic mistakes in the texts, which makes Djurberg’s surreal films all the more vulnerable and human.
Djurberg & Berg
Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg live and work in Berlin. They have staged solo presentations at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2009), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Prada Foundation in Milan (both in 2008), and Kunsthalle Wien (2007). Their work can be found in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Moderna Museet (Stockholm) and the Sprengel Museum (Hanover). In 2009, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg were awarded the Silver Lion by the 53rd Venice Biennale.
The ’Snakes Knows it’s Yoga’ exhibition is a collaboration with the kestnergesellschaft in Hanover and the Kunstforeningen GL Strand in Copenhagen. A richly illustrated catalogue is being published to accompany the show. It can be purchased at the museum shop and via webshop.boijmans.nl from 5 March. (Price: €30.00, ISBN 978-3-86984-198-4)
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