Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg Open Window, 2011 stop motion animation, video, music, 5:54 min © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg / Bildupphovsrätt 2018

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg Open Window, 2011 stop motion animation, video, music, 5:54 min © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg / Bildupphovsrätt 2018

Approda al Mart di Rovereto la mostra di Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, prodotta dal museo italiano in collaborazione con il Moderna Museet di Stoccolma e la Schrin Kunsthalle Frankfurt.
La collaborazione tra l’artista e il musicista, produttore e compositore Hans Berg, prosegue da diversi anni ed è il frutto di quelle ormai riconoscibili installazioni immersive che si propongono come letture delle dinamiche dell’epoca contemporanea. Il leitmotiv musicale che accompagna la maggior parte dei lavori è quasi sempre una melodia ripetitiva, distorta, quasi agitata. E i personaggi che compaiono negli scenari grotteschi ideati dai due artisti incarnano allegorie dei sentimenti più viscerali dell’uomo: gelosia, vendetta, cupidigia e lussuria.
In una società dominata dal culto per il bello e la perfezione, il lavoro di Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg si propone come contraltare di questa ricerca, e utilizza un’estetica caricaturale e imperfetta per parlare di ciò che di altrettanto imperfetto giace nell’animo umano.
La mostra, a cura di Lena Essling e Gianfranco Maraniello, apre i battenti il 6 ottobre con electronic live set by Hans Berg (ore ore 20) e prosegue fino al 27 gennaio 2019.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg. Delights of an Undirected Mind, 2016 (still). © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg. Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg. Delights of an Undirected Mind, 2016 (still). © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg. Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

Segue l’intervista di Giulia Gelmini ai due artisti —

GG: In your works, the physical traits of the characters are often associated with a childhood scenario that is somehow distorted and projects the viewer in a sort of nightmare where the fear dialogues with astonishment. How did you decide to start working with these figures and why?

Nathalie Djurberg:  A lot of this has to do with the medium of stop-motion animation. It looks child-like, also because we are used to stop-motion animation being meant for children, and the small scale makes things seem innocent and not grand at all. The only way to make something grand in one of the animations is if Hans makes really grand music. But one thing that I appreciate wit the animation is that all of what I said above makes it also possible to watch something without having so many preconceived judgments about it.
I started working in this way at the same time as I broke down the concept of what I thought art was supposed to be, realizing for myself that art is in it’s best a free space, where you are allowed to explore without the pressure of coming to a conclusion.
GG: Your histories are strongly connected to our society, its problems, and fears. The characters seem to play a specific role in which we can recognize ourselves. Can we consider them as members of a contemporary fairytale? Do they play the human comedy of life?
ND: Yes. What is great with art, and true about many other things as well, is that you are free to see whatever you want to see. And even though I might have a specific interpretation when I was making it; when the work leaves the studio, it doesn’t belong to me anymore, it belongs to the person seeing it. And that personal interpretation is just as right as mine.
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, One Need Not Be a House, The Brain Has Corridors, 2018 © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg : Bildupphovsrätt 2018

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, One Need Not Be a House, The Brain Has Corridors, 2018 © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg

GG: In a society where everything needs to be perfect, beautiful and appealing, where the external aspect plays a fundamental role, why did you decide to give this grotesque physiognomic to your works? What do the concepts of ugliness, grotesque, disquieting mean for you? Why did you decide to imply this esthetic in your work?
ND: Who says that everything needs to be perfect in our society? Is anything perfect in a society? It’s just what we tell ourselves, most of us even know that the commercials or movies we see that tell us about a perfect life are lies. We know that there is no such thing as an ending, we know that when a film ends where they live happily ever after, they really didn’t. That’s when the life starts. But it’s so easy to forget, to miss the beauty in the imperfections. I forget it all the time. And something that is perfect tends to become boring very fast. It would be great if there was less cruelty in the world, but it would be good to not forget that when we come out on the other side if we are lucky enough, there is an even greater beauty to be found. I never decided for this aesthetic, it just came naturally, the few times I’ve strived to do something perfectly, and the even fewer times I succeeded, the result was completely dead to me. No substance and no vulnerability, and hence, no beauty.
GG: Music is a fundamental element of your works and it accompanies the spectator in an ascetic journey. What are the key aspects of your musical compositions? Do they follow a certain scheme? What comes first, musical inspiration or theatrical scenery?
Hans Berg: The music works in a very different way than the visual aspects of the works, it’s physical, you feel it in your body, it vibrates in your ears, and it fills the room over space and time. When you watch something you interpret what it is you see, but with music, it goes straight into your brain without passing any filters, so you instantly feel something from it, it’s very direct. And that feeling influences your interpretation of the visual, so with the music, I can set a mood and create an environment in which you see the works. The theatrical scenery most often comes first; usually, I watch Nathalie make the animations or installations and see how the scenes unfold, and from there I create the music.
GG: In the exhibition, you present many artworks that were born in different years. How did your work change? Is there a full rouge that connects the chapters of this exhibition? 

ND: The works always follow each other one way or another, but in a spiral way. I Might lose interest in a topic but come back to it in a different way later if I still haven’t understood an aspect of what I was trying to understand. It’s really interesting to me what happens to me in the making of the work. That means that some works are quite connected to each other and some are not.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg Bad Eggs, 2011 stop motion animation, video, music, 6:01 min © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg / Bildupphovsrätt 2018

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg Bad Eggs, 2011 stop motion animation, video, music, 6:01 min © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg / Bildupphovsrätt 2018

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Dark Side of the Moon, 2017 © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg : Bildupphovsrätt 2018

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Dark Side of the Moon, 2017 © Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg : Bildupphovsrätt 2018

NATHALIE DJURBERG, Untitled (Acid), 2010. Courtesy Videoinsight® Collection

NATHALIE DJURBERG, Untitled (Acid), 2010. Courtesy Videoinsight® Collection