Jan Švankmajer, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg

Jan Švankmajer, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Left: Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, The Black Pot (still), 2013. Video. Courtesy of the artists; Giò Marconi, Milan; Zach Feuer, New York; Lisson Gallery, London. Right: Jan Švankmajer, Dimensions of Dialogue (still), 1982. Film. Courtesy Athanor Film Production Company, Llc., Jaromír Kallista & Jan Švankmajer.

June 17, 2013

Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg: The Black Pot /
Jan Švankmajer’s Kunstkammer
21 June–25 August 2013

Garage Center for Contemporary Culture 
Gorky Park, 9 Krymsky Val 
119049 Moscow, Russia
Hours: Monday–Thursday 11–21h, Friday–Sunday 11–22h

T +7 495 645 05 20


Curated by Yulia Aksenova

Garage Center for Contemporary Culture presents two new projects: Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s The Black Pot and Jan Švankmajer’s Kunstkammer, each created specifically for the new Garage Pavilion in Gorky Park.

Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg
The Black Pot  
21 June–25 August 2013

Nathalie Djurberg is best known for her provocative films that are produced using stop-motion animation and set to hypnotic music created by Hans Berg. In these works, plasticine figures enact absurd stories in scenes evocative of nightmares and morbid fantasies, with characters that personify some of the darkest aspects of human nature.

Although her visual language draws upon the aesthetics of childhood, Djurberg avoids sentimentality through exploring subconscious and taboo desires. A degree of allegory is characteristic of the artist’s work, particularly through her use of archaic forms of narrative, such as the fable and myth, which are traditionally used to represent core archetypes of human behavior and their more extreme manifestations.

The Black Pot differs from previous works by Djurberg and Berg insofar as a poetic and metaphorical abstraction emerges within the fragmented narrative. Drawing on classical mythology, Djurberg plays with the subject of ontogenesis (the transformation of an organism from an egg to a mature form) in a panoramic installation where symbols of universal creation take on a very personal and poetic note. The exhibition also features new work, including sculptural seats that take the shape of everyday items, such as donuts or scrambled eggs.

Jan Švankmajer’s Kunstkammer
21 June–25 August 2013

Jan Švankmajer is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished filmmakers, set designers and artists working today. He has received international acclaim for his films, which combine a variety of genres, such as live action, stop-motion animation, and puppetry to create scenes that simultaneously shock and captivate the viewer. 

Aside from his feature films and animations, Švankmajer works with sculpture, graphic design, collage and gestural poetry. The artist uses both man-made and organic materials, such as animal skeletons, stones, fossils and dried plants, exploring the legacy of Surrealism wherein images from the subconscious reveal both the inner workings of the human mind and its social surroundings, uncovering the dark sides of our existence.

This exhibition reveals the rich diversity of Švankmajer’s practice. Together the works reference a Kunstkammer, or cabinet of curiosities, which were first created during the period of geographic discoveries in the 16th century. Epitomizing the influx of new knowledge from non-Western civilizations, the Kunstkammer brought together objects that defied categorization, perceived as a theater of the world, where art and nature collide.

Garage Center for Contemporary Culture
Garage Center for Contemporary Culture is an independent platform for new thinking in Moscow. Through an extensive program of exhibitions, research, education, and publishing, Garage reflects on current developments in Russian and international culture, creating opportunities for public dialogue and the production of new work and ideas. Founded in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova, the institution is building a unique archive focusing on the development of contemporary art in Russia while pioneering diverse educational projects for families and professionals that are the first of their kind in the country. This provides the foundation from which experimental exhibitions, events, and screenings are initiated.

Garage Center for Contemporary Culture is a non-profit project of The IRIS Foundation.


Jan Švankmajer, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg at Garage Center for Contemporary Culture
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Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
June 17, 2013

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