Nathalie Djurberg

Exhibition Brings Video Works by Berlin Artist to Northwest
Nathalie Djurberg
January 24—April 26, 2009

Through a solo presentation and group exhibition, the Frye Art Museum brings video works by international animation artist Nathalie Djurberg to Northwest audiences. Four recent video works by the Berlin-based video artist will be presented in Nathalie Djurberg from January 24 through April 26, followed by a group exhibition, The Puppet Show (May 16—September 13) featuring four additional works by Djurberg.

The series of four works presented in the solo presentation Nathalie Djurberg opening in January are: Camels Drink Water (2007); Jag sysslar givetvis med trolleri (Of Course I am Working with Magic) (2007); We are Not Two We are One (2008); and Turn Into Me (2008). The Puppet Show will include four additional works: The Swing (2005); Madeleine the Brave (2006); Feed All the Hungry Little Children (2007); and Hungry Hungry Hippos (2007). Together, these eight works provide Seattle viewers with an in-depth look at artwork by one of the most critically acclaimed young artists working today.

In Djurberg’s short stop-action animation dramas—described by the artist as “fairy tales gone mad”—forces of good and evil, dark and light, beauty and horror intertwine. Her characters often exist in moral tension with each other and within themselves. They often shed big blue (clay) tears. Her narratives provide no reassuring fairy-tale conclusions.

Djurberg constructs almost everything in her puppet plays herself, from the creation of the plasticine figures, their costumes and settings to the technical realization to the direction of her dramas. Traces of her production process remain in the final cut: puppet strings are sometimes visible, spelling mistakes go uncorrected. In Camels Drink Water, her characters wander out of the desert and through Djurberg’s studio on their way to an oasis.

Born in 1978 in Lysekil, Sweden, Djurberg studied at the Hovedskous Art School in Göteborg, Sweden, and received her master’s degree from Malmö Art Academy. She has had solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2008); Prada Foundation, Milan (2008); Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (2007); and Fargfabriken, Stockholm (2006). Her work has been included in major international group exhibitions, including Art in a Dark Age (Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2008); After Nature (New Museum, New York, 2008); Performa 07, New York (2007); Fractured Figure (Deste Foundation, Athens, 2007); and Of Mice and Men: The 4th Berlin Biennial (2006). In 2008 she received the Carnegie Art Award, Scholarship for a Young Artist.

By request of the artist, the videos in Nathalie Djurberg will be presented sequentially: Saturday, January 24–February 13: Camels Drink Water; Saturday, February 14–March 6: Jag sysslar givetvis med trolleri (Of Course I am Working with Magic); Saturday, March 7–April 3: We are not two, we are one; and Saturday, April 4–April 26: Turn into me.

Nathalie Djurberg is presented in the Frye Art Museum’s Black Box space and is curated by Robin Held, chief curator and director of exhibitions and collections.

Frye Art Museum