Hammer Projects: Nathalie Djurberg

Hammer Projects: Nathalie Djurberg

For her first solo museum exhibition in an American museum, Swedish-born, Berlin-based artist Nathalie Djurberg presents two new videos and an installation with related sculptures created during her Hammer residency. Her clay animation videos (with wildly inventive soundtracks composed by her collaborator Hans Berg) appear sweet and idyllic at first glance, but the action generally takes dark, twisted and disturbing turns as her characters act out wild revenge fantasies and other violent scenarios. Djurberg was included in a 2006 Hammer Project, Animations. She has had solo exhibitions at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm and the Prada Foundation, Milan and was included in the 4th Berlin Biennale.


Nathalie Djurberg was born in 1978 in Lysekil, Sweden, and lives and works in Berlin. She studied at the Hovedskous Art School in Göteborg, Sweden, and received her master’s from Malmö Art Academy. She has had solo exhibitions at the Prada Foundation, Milan (2008); Kunsthalle Vienna; Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; and Färgfabriken, Stockholm. Her work has been included in major international group exhibitions, including: Art in a Dark Age (Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2008); After Nature (New Museum, New York, 2008); Performa 07, New York (2007); Fractured Figure (Deste Foundation, Athens, 2007); and Of Mice and Men, the 4th berlin biennial (2006). In 2008 she received the Carnegie Art Award, Scholarship for a Young Artist. This is her first solo exhibition in an American institution.

Hans Berg is a Swedish and Berlin-based techno/electronica producer. His music career began when he played drums in a handful of punk-rock bands at the age of 14. He bought his first synthesizer and sampler at 15 and started producing electronic music, which he has been doing ever since. Hans produces music under the name of Protekk. He met Nathalie in Berlin and started to collaborate with her. They have been working together since 2004.


By Ali Subotnick 

A candy-colored picture of darling little girls prancing around a black-and-white-checkered floor with a dapper daddy figure, who playfully throws them up in the air. He lifts one girl onto his shoulders, and she pulls her dress up over his face, causing him to stumble around blinded until they fall to the floor. He then turns to the other girl, who in the meantime has picked up a baseball bat, and he hoists her over his knees and begins to spank her on the behind and she yelps in pain. Then while the other girl gets a round of spankings, the one with the bat starts to swing at his knees. The two girls begin to jump up and down on top of him, using him as a trampoline and attacking with more and more intensity, bringing him to tears. All the while a sweet carousel-type melody provides a misleadingly joyful sound track (Florentin, 2004). 

A young girl towels off after a bath, shaking her behind in the cloth, unaware of the tiger lurking behind her. He looks and watches hungrily, and unable to restrain his urges, he slurps and licks her butt. The slurp is loud and slobbering, like a Saint Bernard lapping up water after a long run up a mountain. She gives him a look of disapproval and then relents. She lets him lick her butt. She lets him do it again. He slurps, she “ooohs.” A flash of text declares, “Why do I have this urge to do these things over and over again?” The tiger wags his tail confidently. She finally gives in to her desires and lets the tiger climb into bed with her (Tiger licking girl’s butt, 2004).

It’s the Mother 


 Untitled (Kids & Dogs)  

 Johnny Once removed on my mother’s sideWe are not two, we are oneThe Prostitute Moving on to greener pastures  

Ali Subotnick is curator at the Hammer Museum.


Hammer Projects is made possible with major gifts from Susan Bay-Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Additional generous support is provided by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, the David Teiger Curatorial Travel Fund, and Fox Entertainment Group’s Arts Development Fee. Gallery brochures are underwritten in part by the Pasadena Art Alliance.

Hammer Projects: Nathalie Djurberg is presented through a residency at the Hammer Museum. The Hammer Museum’s Artist Residency Program was initiated with funding from the Nimoy Foundation and is supported through a significant grant from the James Irvine Foundation.