Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg

Lysekil / Rättvik , Sweden
1978 / 1978

Through sculpture, stop-motion film, sound and immersive installations Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg develop surreal narratives that investigate themes of lust, greed, exploitation and fear with a hint of the absurd. Working in collaboration for over a decade, Djurberg and Berg create scenes that are simultaneously violent and erotic, enticing and whimsical.

Within these childlike fantasies, protagonists and antagonists are interchangeable and sociological foundations morph and dissolve. A range of surrogates – fairytale characters, animals, post-humans and stereotypes act out often violent or sexual offenses digging into the darker side of the human unconscious.

Working in an intuitive and curious mode, uninhibited by traditional methods of art making, Djurberg laboriously handcrafts elaborate environments and characters out of clay, plasticene, foam, wire, fabric and paint resulting in a gummy, flamboyant aesthetic. The visceral textures conveyed in Djurbergs’ figures further elaborate the emotions provoked by their misdemeanors. Berg, a musician and composer, adds yet another layer of emotional depth through sound. With his compositions, drama is either reinforced or awkwardly highlighted by contrasting the portrayed scene.

Nathalie Djurberg was born in 1978 in Lysekil. She studied art at Folkuniversitetet and Hovedskous Art School in Gothenburg, before earning her Master of Fine Arts from Malmö Art Academy in 2002. Hans Berg was born in 1978 in Rättvik, and is a self-taught musician, who began playing the drums at age fourteen. Djurberg and Berg met in Berlin in 2004 and have been working together ever since.

The artists’ collaborations have been exhibited widely around the world. In 2009, Djurberg & Berg presented their installation The Experiment at the 53rd Venice Biennial Making Worlds curated by Daniel Birnbaum where they were awarded the Silver Lion for Best Emerging Artists.

Photo: Wynrich Zlomke.