Natasha Dahnberg - FRAMES OF LIFE. ENGLISH

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ENGLISH. Natasha Dahnberg - FRAMES OF LIFE


GALLERI FAGERSTEDT, Stockholm, Sweden

Videos and Photographs
13th of November – 20th of December 2014
 
 
It's pure coincidence that Armani launches its latest collection of spectacles under the title Frames of Life, an amusing coincidence that happens to focus on the vision and viewing perspective. It is also a coincidence that the American artist Bill Viola, an important precursor to today's video art, is showing his work The Greeting in a large retrospective exhibition in Paris and in Florence this year.

The videopiece The Greeting were launched in 1995 and had its world premiere at the Venice Biennale in the same year and has since been shown for instance in the permanent collection of De Pont Stichtung in Tilburg in the Netherlands
 
  The Greeting is, like Natasha Dahnbergs videowork Mary & Elizabeth, an allusionto Jacopo da Pontormo (1494-1557) famous painting Mary and Elizabeth, or "La Visitazione" (Visitation). Bill Viola's work remains close to his model, it is pasty andgrand; clothing, gestures and facial expressions reflect wordless immensity of"Annunciation", in the "virgin birth", I e taboos surrounding female sexuality.

Natasha Dahnberg is an artist who aims at understanding her time and their culture by “diving under the skin” of the order to bring it into the light. The video-piece Mary & Elizabeth has come about through a long series of interviews withpregnant women, about their innermost thoughts about pregnancy and its taboos.The artist has also had the opportunity to follow a girl who gave birth to her first child when she was in 9th grade in school, she wore her pregnancy with pride, inhigh heels. The film is a feature film with two amateur actors. They are preparing for a sensitive meeting with each other.

From Natasha Dahnbergs script:

Preparing for the meeting.
Both women spend a lot of time to be ready for the meeting. It takes a lot of time for both of them. For Mary, it is important how she should look, for Elizabeth to create apleasant environment at the meeting. Mary combs her hair, make-up in front of the mirror, choosing clothes. Elizabeth tablecloths table.

We do not see that women talk, we hear their voices as a voice-over. There isdocumentary recordings of interviews with real women. There are women's concerns about their situation, and about the child's future. They reason about what theywould say if they met a very young and old pregnant woman
 
 
Natasha Dahnberg gives the story both a contemporary and a more female perspective in comparison with Viola. She focuses on women's intimate conversation with each other and the authentic interviews. The whole sceneis casual and dimmed. The work is empathetic and slowly, during the movie, we get more and more keys to feel the taboos, borders and beliefs, so tradition-bound that we have inherited them from the biblical narrative traditions. A question without end, female sexuality?


The video work about hair is a story about a woman's life, a linear story,portrayed through her hair. Life story, like the hair, many threads that are woven together or become entangled in each other, one can follow the little details that braided in and passing the camera. Her hair, which is dead matter about to leave the body, does here represent life. It has been usedoccasionally in art contexts, e g in the early feminist art in the United States.Janine Anthony painted an entire floor with hair dye and with his ownhairbrush in a famous performances.

The hair symbolic significance has also biblical roots, such as in the story ofSamson and Delilah. Samson was born by an apparition of a woman who has long been barren, and the hair gave him his strength until Delilah cut it of him while he slept. His life changed radically without hair. Even in our timehave hair cultural significance, it signals the things about us, we will be detected and scanned by our hair and our hair throughout life.

Natasha Dahnberg is a Russian-Swedish artist who in recent years has attracted the attention of powerful and thought-provoking video works, sometimes with a political edge and sometimes with subtle stories about thebig questions of life with deep roots. Frames of Life is an exhibition includingage, not necessarily on aging, and the framework for a life-flow and itsultimate limits. She asks themselves questions like how much weight age for us when we make decisions. Do we change our decisions and does our decisions that we make depending on our age?
 
The beautiful and evocative video works have been produced in collaboration with the filmmaker Mervi Junkkonen.

Natasha Dahnberg is born in Moscow in 1969 and lives in Sweden since 2000. She works as an artist, art teacher and graphic artist at Swedish Television. She writes articles on, among other things Russian activist contemporary art and she has curated exhibitions both inSweden and Russia, among others, with Pussy Riot in Sweden. She has had exhibitions in both countries. She has received several scholarships, performed public art and is represented in collections in Swedish municipalities, regions and counties.

Education in selection
1978 - 1986 Krasnaya Presjna School of Art, Moscow
1987 - 1992 Master degree: Moscow State Pedagogical University, Department of Fine Arts, Moscow
 
 
ELISABETH FAGERSTEDT
Curator