For the third cycle of transformation of the Prada Transformer in Seoul, the Prada Foundation
opened an exhibition of the artist Nathalie Djurberg (born 1978, at Lysekil, Sweden), which will be held from August 15 to September 13 in the rotating building designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA next to the sixteenth-century Geyonghui Palace in Seoul.
In the interior of the Transformer now covered with a surface of white felt that ripples and twists to form a highly baroque, sensual wrapping, the artist has created an installation that she articulates over the floors and walls through the use of objects and projections that mute the whiteness and transform the architectural environment into a cave of the unconscious and oneiric. In this shadowy, disturbing envelope, whose cruciform configuration follows the hexagonal shape used for fashion and the rectangular one used for cinema, the only thing that visually stands apart is the floor, which is covered in a grey felt on which objects great and small are placed and lighted in a spectacular mode. These assume the likenesses of a potato, a dolmen and two small whalessome of them already exhibited in 2008 at the Fondazione Prada in Milanwith animated videos inserted as part of the whole. In order, moreover, to emphasize the dramatic nature of the interior space of the Transformer, the artist has chosen to project, at maximum size, two other videos which, in a symbiotic interaction with the white, almost flesh-like covering of the inside environment, expand the disturbing landscape of her vision.
Recently honored with the Silver Lion for the best young artist at the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009, Djurberg creates videos that are short, animated films made with the stop motion technique and feature plasticine figures that move about and create a surreal and often grotesque narrative. The sets for these stories are constructed in rudimentary but ingenious fashion by the artist herself, and through a play of sexual reminiscences, evocations of the macabre, of violence and the subtle pleasures of cruelty and a vague depravity, the narratives evoke ambiguous feelings of anxiety and malaise.
Djurbergs works are characterized by an obsessive rhythm, and while they are permeated with a taste for irony and humor, they convey a sense of disquietude, nostalgia, and unease, sometimes genuine anguish. These feelings are reinforced by the music that accompanies all artists works, written by the young Swedish composer Hans Berg.
Nathalie Djurberg lives and works in Berlin and has emerged in recent years as one of the outstanding Swedish artists of the new generation, as well as one of the most active on the international scene. She has had solo shows at the Fondazione Prada in Milan (2008), the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna (2007), the Färgfabriken of Stockholm (2006), and her videos have been projected at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2009), the Tate Britain in London (2007), the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York (2006), and the 4th Biennial of Contemporary Art in Berlin (2006), among others. Her works are currently on exhibit at the 53rd Biennial Art Exhibition of Venice, and she has participated over the years in a number of group shows as well, including After Nature, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2008) and Performa (2007), also in New York.