Nathalie Djurberg’s videos are stop-frame animations; they show protagonists made of plasticine in well elaborated artificial props. At first sight you may be reminded of a puppet theatre or a television programme for kids, but the stories told by Djurberg are far from harmless. They always focus on power, dominance and servility. The videos play with crossing the borders into the realms of forbidden human fantasies.
To use the colourful and bright forms of children’s entertainment in order to show taboos of the adult world seems to be a paradox, but indeed it is a precise and deliberate decision. With their limited sense of norms, including manners and guilt, children often tend to be unexpectedly direct or even brutal.
Nathalie Djurberg shows four new video works in the Kunsthalle; in some of the videos, the characters behave violently towards each other, but in others it is clearly the artist herself who is the aggressive one, behaving brutally to them. Not only is this to be taken as a self-confident statement about the artist’s own despotism and dictatorship, but also a reference to a genuine structure of artistic creation. In the little world Nathalie Djurberg generates as an artist, she indeed is God: she is the unquestioned dictator over the offspring of her fantasy, with unrestricted power and without any responsibility towards them.