2016, HD video, sound, 6' 40''
A girl sucking her thumb into a threshold between sleep and wake, the silk-robed elephant who tucks her in; the pile of ribboned presents, a toreador preparing for cursory duels, his huge bulge spelling out the objective and feeling out the mind’s recesses in Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s teen bedroom Bacchanal. The girl moves according to the distended time of dreams procuring pastel pal after another. It suggests that the subconscious craves the kind of chaos that apparently only barbotine sex can provide. In these Delights of an Undirected Mind (2016,) a giraffe soon sits atop a petrified fox like a Hag or succubus making haunted advances, whilst dearest My Little Pony is groomed with an increasingly lewd touch. As a Wolf in Grandma’s clothing feeds the troupe milk from a nippled bottle—think Little Red Riding Ho’—both the film and the milk condense the quiet purity of babyish slumber into an eddying fantasy.
In the Delights, a treatise of sorts, the Sweden-born, Berlin based duo put forth the undeveloped sexual being as an opening, a site for lucidity and frivolity. The tentacular mind covers characters in latex (sometimes literally, sometimes in filmy imagination) like a contraceptive protecting them from reality’s interferences. Those tedious and exuding morals are put aside to give way to an original sin. Sin that lives in fantasy, sin that touches fantasy, eats, weeps and lies in bed in with fantasy, but most importantly does not recognise itself as sinful. The theory may be that it requires an outsider to point out a fetish, considering that the sexual peccadillo seems to bother no one nor provoke awkwardness or shame amongst its participants. The inexorable dream is to stay spelunking in that mindset, which is all-too-easily broken. After all, the annals of deformable fantasy generally all end in the unfortunate event of waking up.
Pushed forward by Berg’s repetitive, hypnogogic soundtrack, the menagerie-à-trois, quatre, cinq is aloft in bed and bureau in matted urges, which speak not to hardcore visuals, not even genital congress, but an orgy of safe sex for teens, (almost) fully clothed in a petting zoo of straddled thoughts and revulsions. It’s all tickles and cut cake and fingers carefully tracing the abdomens of other bodies, cucumbers wearing socks and only socks and liquorice-like, lickable octopi. Basically, the short film presents the clay of the libido, always at the viewer’s mercy, wherein the first thing we come to lust in life is an improbable scene lodged in subliminal plush.
Courtesy the artists; Gió Marconi, Milan; Lisson Gallery, London, New York and Milan.
Delights of an Undirected Mind is part of a trilogy of short films, currently on show at Lisson Gallery, London until May 6, 2017, complemented by a new sculptural installation made specifically for the exhibition.