The DESTE Foundation will participate in Art Athina 2018 with works by two women artists, the Dutch Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959) and the Swedish Nathalie Djurberg (b. 1978). Two different screenings were selected specifically for presentation in the unfinished facilities of the Athens Conservatoire, this emblematic building of Greek modernity designed by the architect Ioannis Despotopoulos. The two artists use different artistic languages to explore extreme psychological conditions rich in symbolic and emotional meanings as they attempt to render the contradictions of human existence more understandable.

Resorting to a direct and unaffected idiom, Rineke Dijkstra focuses on the complexity of contemporary identities, recording the cultural differences between Western and the former Eastern Europe and the fluid depictions of young people which combine the artifice of roles with the natural bodies, impertinence with coyness and innocence with the claim of experience.

Nathalie Djurberg relies on distorted miniatures and clay animations to produce a series of contemporary fairy tales that illustrate the psychological-sexual dimension of the various human and animalistic desires. In these works the grotesque and the humorous coexist with the dramatization of some base natural instincts such as jealousy, revenge, avarice, domination and lust—instincts which modernity tried to suppress.


Duration: June 21–June 24, 2018
Venue: Athens Conservatoire (Odeion)

Pictured: Nathalie Djurberg, Tiger Licking Girl’s Butt, 2004 (© the artist)