Sept 8: The Parade

Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg’s new Claymation videos.


In stop-motion animations starring horny snakes, sexually deviant tigers, and self-mutilating humans, Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg accesses the unsavory—perversion, violence, even slavery—using a surrealist’s eye and a Freudian imagination. “She doesn’t take a moral position on these issues,” explains Darsie Alexander, chief curator at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, where Djurberg’s biggest solo show to date opens September 8. “It puts the onus of interpretation on the spectator.” Like her installation at the 2009 Venice Biennale, which earned her the Silver Lion for promising young artist, The Parade comprises new Claymation videos (above) playing simultaneously across five screens (and scored by Djurberg’s partner, Hans Berg) that stand amid an immersive sculptural environment, here featuring a procession of birds. “They’re sort of like birds gone wild,” Alexander says of the colorful sculptures. “Nathalie uses animals as a stand-in for narratives about human behavior.” Her recent obsession with fauna, the artist says, focuses both on their ritualistic preening and the unspeakable sins such colorful showmanship might conceal—or “what you can hide underneath your actions,” she explains. “It’s seldom we identify with birds. But if we look closely, we can see ourselves.”

Photo: Courtesy of Nathalie Djurberg/Zach Feuer Gallery, New York/GiO Marconi, Milan