Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, One Last Trip To The Underworld (Installlation View), via Tanya Bonakdar
Marking their first exhibition in New York in over 5 years, the artist duo of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg have touched down in New York City for an expansive solo exhibition at Tanya Bonakdar’s expansive Chelsea exhibition space. The show, which marks the world premiere of four new video works, continues the pair’s collaborative vision and surreal landscapes, which explore the shadows of human subconsciousness. Using sculpture, stop-motion film, sound, and immersive installation the artists construct narratives that speak to emotional tension, confliction, sexual impulse, and violence. The show is rife with dark humor and absurdity. Large-scale flower sculptures dot the floors of the space, each accented with a range of grotesque details and bizarre creatures flitting across their surfaces in mid-pollination. Countered by immense, full-wall videos, these pieces seem to create the landscape against which this action on-screen plays out. The gallery becomes a playing field for the subconscious, hints of tension and violence, desire and sexual aggression, all writ large on the walls as these sculptures translate that same energy into three dimensional space.
The four new films on view: One Last Trip to The Underworld, This is Heaven, Damaged Goods and How to Slay a Demon, explore themes of needing, longing, and personal evolution and regression. Bodies are destroyed and put back together, human figures are assaulted by ghoulish specters, always undercut with a powerful, dark drive that takes the viewer to and from the depths of a dark underworld, speaking to our most inner conceptions of pleasure, pain, longing, and lust.
In creating all-encompassing environments where film, sculpture, and installation inform and activate one another, Djurberg and Berg’s work excavates the subliminal and brings to the surface the most repressed, primordial human drives. In an enthralling dynamic of magnetic attraction and aversion the artists’ work invokes psychological and corporeal effects that push the limits of the human psyche to new frontiers. By contrast, however, a certain sense of dark humor brings the works back into a centered conversation on meaning and understanding, the idea that maybe the most effective way to work through our collective traumas and nightmares, is first to name them, and drag them out into the light.
The show closes December 20th.
— D. Creahan
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg: One Last Trip To The Underworld [Tanya Bonakdar]