Nathalie Djurberg

The Berlin Biennale is very enjoyable although it doesn’t try too hard to be liked by everyone: not much glamour, no big names, no easy pieces that make you smile, no lovely girls handing you free (sponsor) coffee. All the venues are located on one street, Auguststraße, in Berlin’s Mitte district. I’ve very quickly forgotten most of the works i saw at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art but spent an enchanted time at the Former Jewish School for Girls. Most of it because of the place itself. The decaying building designed by Alexander Beer in 1927 was closed by the Nazis in 1942 and re-opened during the Communist era. The showers are still there, the colours of the wallpapers have faded, the paint is peeling and the doors close with a bang.

150514488_98296330f3_m.jpg150492506_3c6aa08cbe_m.jpgMichael Borremans and a visitor watching Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan’s fascinating Evidence photos

I’ll spare you the details and just mention that i fell head over heels for Natalie Djurberg‘s videos. Her animated vignettes depict a bitter-sweet world of handmade plasticine puppets, shot with the old-fashion stop-motion technique. Don’t be fooled by the little girls singing and playing with daddy, by the cute tiger in the girl’s bedroom or by the fat mama. The works speak about abuses, perverted sexual behaviours, and cruel impulses of human beings who just “can’t help it.”

ND-Florentin05_6_b.jpgND-TigerLickingGirlsB05_1_b.jpgFlorentin and Tiger Licking Girl’s Butt

You can also enjoy Djurberg’s work at the Zach Feuer Gallery (LFL) in New York, until 27 May 2006.