September 8-December 31, 2011
In the hands of Nathalie Djurberg, the conventionally innocent technique of “claymation” becomes a medium for nightmarish yet wry allegories of human behavior and social taboo. Since 2001, the Swedish-born artist has honed a distinctive style of video animation, using the pliability of clay to investigate the dark recesses of the human mind. Set to music and sound effects by her partner and collaborator Hans Berg, Djurberg’s handcrafted cinematic tales explore the vicissitudes of revenge, lust, submission, gluttony, and other primal emotions with an unblinking eye.
This Walker-organized exhibition, the largest American museum presentation of the artist’s work to date, includes a significant body of new work drawing on the psychology and natural history of birds. Blurring the cinematic and the sculptural, she integrates moving images with related set pieces, using actual bird species as points of departure for her sometimes monstrous hybrid figures. Projected amid her objects is a sequence of short films, in which characters, situations, and settings migrate from one narrative to the next. The result is an immersive installation revealing Djurberg’s continued interest in pageantry and abjection, evolution and decay.