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Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg Share Their Feelings

April 29, 2020

After viewing, we invite you to watch four of the artists’ works featured in this film—in their entirety—exclusively on Art21.org through May 5.

Creative duo Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg discuss the feelings of shame, desire, happiness, and despair that go into making their clay-animation films and sculptures. Ultimately, the pair intend for their work to communicate the intersection of all these emotions—from joy to sorrow, fulfillment to disappointment, longing to repulsion—and that, as Djurberg puts it, “not one emotional state has ever lasted.”

At her studio in Berlin, Djurberg handcrafts the intricate clay figures that comprise their 2019 exhibition at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York. Sculpting wolves, clowns, and skeletal half-human, half-animal figures for the films, Djurberg reflects on the process of bringing an idea from conception to execution—and the feelings of shame and disappointment that often accompany her. Meanwhile, Berg composes the music for their films, pushing the emotional tone of Djurberg’s creations. As figures claw at one another in the film, How to Slay a Demon (2019), Berg explains, “I wanted the music to be almost like the voice of addiction: very hypnotic, alluring, almost like a siren song luring you in.” Blurring the line between desire and disgust, the final works are surreal, bawdy, and, at times, humorous explorations into the human subconscious.

More information and credits

Credits

Producer: Danielle Brock, Ian Forster, and Nick Ravich. Interview: Danielle Brock. Editor: Thomas Niles. Colorist: Jonah Greenstein. Camera: Giuseppe Malpasso. Additional Camera: Rafael Salazar. Assistant Camera: Thomas Lau. Artwork Courtesy: Hans Berg, Nathalie Djurberg, and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. Additional Music: Joel Pickard. Special Thanks: Rachel Jennings and Ava Wiland.

Extended Play is supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts; and, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Art21 Contemporary Council; and by individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Licensing

Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Now streaming, full segments from the new season of Art in the Twenty-First Century, dubbed “the uniformly excellent television series on contemporary art” by the Los Angeles Times. Watch now.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg

Nathalie Djurberg was born in Lysekil, Sweden, in 1978. Hans Berg was born in Rättvik, Sweden, in 1978. Mixing sculpture, sound, and filmmaking, the duo has collaborated since 2004 to create absurd and bawdy clay-animation films and installations. Their work exposes an undercurrent of psychologically charged human and animalistic desires with the sweet veneer of a childhood fairytale.

In this special presentation, on view through May 5, learn about the motivations and process behind the creative duo’s work and then view, in their entirety, the four artworks discussed in the film.

“In joy, we feel whole—because in the second of joy, there isn’t anything else. It’s just that usually it’s so short.”

Nathalie Djurberg

"Berlin"

13:28
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