Press Release


U.S. debut of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s A World of Glass

Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves,” one of the “most anticipated museum shows of 2014” 

(Boston—March 18, 2014) On March 19, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents two critically acclaimed exhibitions to Boston audiences.

Making its U.S. debut, the installation A World of Glass (2011) by Swedish-born artists Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg explores universal themes of compassion, desire, suffering, and vulnerability. The work is composed of four concurrently playing Claymation videos, 193 sculptures cast in clear polyurethane arranged on four tables, and an atmospheric soundtrack. Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg: A World of Glass is on view at the ICA March 19 through July 6, 2014. The exhibition is organized by ICA Assistant Curator Anna Stothart.

In the unsettling, folktale-like videos—Didn’t you know I’m made of butter?; I’m a wild animal; Monster; and My body is a house of glass—Djurberg explores the complexities of the human condition by placing painstakingly rendered human and animal characters in situations that are seemingly playful but turn sinister. Djurberg’s dark animations are “so carefully orchestrated and rendered in such magically captivating part-by-art fashion,” wrote critic Jerry Saltz in 2009, “that her crazed subject matter gives way to something like an exploration of the collective id.” The sculptures in the installation are also featured in the videos.

Berg contributes the musical score, his immersive soundscape of dreamy, tinkling sounds and ominous overtones adds to the sense of foreboding, connecting the sculptures and videos, and pulling the viewer into the space.

Born in Lysekil, Sweden, in 1978, Nathalie Djurberg received her MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2002. Hans Berg was born in Rättvik, Sweden, in 1978 and is a musician, producer, and composer, working mainly with electronic music. They have exhibited widely together in group shows, including the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Djurberg and Berg’s animations and installations have been featured in solo exhibitions at the New Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Venice Biennale, where Djurberg won the Silver Lion for a promising young artist in 2009. They currently live and work in New York.

This exhibition contains material that may not be suitable for children. Parental discretion advised. 

Image: Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, A World of Glass, 2011. Multi-media installation with 193 polyurethane crystal sculptures and 4 digital videos, overall dimensions variable. Installation view, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK, 2011–2012. Photo: Andy Keate. Hadley Martin Fisher Collection. Image courtesy of the artists and Zach Feuer Gallery.  

Support for Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg: A World of Glass provided by Nine Zero, a Kimpton Hotel.

Exhibition-Related Program

The Artist's Voice: Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg
Thursday, April 17 | 6:30 PM

Djurberg and Berg will appear at the ICA as part of The Artist’s Voice, an ongoing museum lecture series. In an innovative spin on the artist talk, the artists will discuss and examine their unique creative process through film, discussion, and performance. The evening begins with a screening of Bang your little drums (2013) followed by a discussion with Assistant Curator Anna Stothart and Public Programs Manager John Andress about the artists’ distinct relationship and influences between the musical and visual elements of their work. The artists will also invite the audience on stage for a rare, intimate glimpse into the electronic world of Hans Berg, accompanied by abstract video by Djurberg. Free tickets are required and available on the day of the program; first come, first served.

Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves”

First exhibition to focus exclusively on work expressing Antin’s multiple personae

One of the Huffington Post’s “most anticipated museum shows of 2014”

A pioneer of conceptual art, Eleanor Antin has spent nearly five decades combining comedy and tragedy in works that engage history, identity, and feminism. Working primarily in performance, photography, film, video and installation, the artist uses fiction, fantasy, and theatricality to examine the ways that history takes shape. Between 1972 and 1991, she created a number of different “selves” of varying genders, races, professions, historical eras, and geographic locations, developing some over many years. On view March 19 through July 6, 2014, Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves” is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on these multiple personae. The exhibition was organized by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University in the City of New York, and curated by Emily Liebert. The presentation at the ICA was organized by Jenelle Porter, Mannion Family Senior Curator.

Some “selves” Antin physically embodied and captured on film; others were represented via paper doll or puppets she manipulated, often with faux-naiveté. Each has a distinct personality and role. Eleanora Antinova, an African-American ballerina from Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, longs to play the classic roles of Giselle and Sylphide but is relegated to more “exotic” Pocahontas types; a second, self-taught ballerina attempts to hide her mediocre technical skill through staged photography. One nurse, Eleanor Nightingale, cares for soldiers at the front line of the Crimean War, while a second, Little Nurse Eleanor, is continually sidetracked by her patients’ lust for her. Yevgeny Antinov, an exiled Russian film director, disseminates radical leftist politics through a silent film about Polish shtetl life, while the deposed King of Solana Beach shops for groceries and tries to empower his “subjects” to fight their wealthy landowners.

Antin’s contributions to contemporary art have been recognized in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has performed internationally at venues including the Venice Biennale and the Sydney Opera House and is the author of several books, including, most recently, Conversations with Stalin (Green Integer).

Image: Eleanor Antin, The Two Eleanors, 1973. Black and white photograph mounted on board, 11 x 14 in. Private Collection.

Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves” was organized by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University in the City of New York, and curated by Emily Liebert. It was made possible through an endowment established by Miriam and Ira D. Wallach.

Support for the Boston presentation is provided by Nine Zero, a Kimpton Hotel.



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