The merged talents of Nathalie Djurberg's video art and Hans Berg's sound compositions first came to our attention with a show at Camden Arts Centre in 2011, with a gory humanity-versus-nature claymation film. It was shocking and unlike anything we'd seen before.
The Gates of the Festival is equally innovative but in a completely different way — the only continuation of the duo's previous style being the projection of a crane-like bird running and flapping along one of the gallery walls.
Light is the focus of this exhibition: in the the first room a transiting sun and breaking bubbles are projected onto a table — bouncing off the edges then coalescing again. It's a mesmerising sequence and the intensity of the colours is so bright, they appear to have escaped and bled over the edges, leaving their imprints on the table legs.
In subsequent rooms the hanging curved lights brighten and fade in time with new age music, while random coloured shapes expand and contract on-screen, inviting our imagination to see creatures and other familiar sights in these amorphous shapes.
Upstairs there are large vases with screens inside showing similarly surreal footage of fruit bowls, rocks and water, all in flowing motion — seemingly dancing to the music.
Black backdrops contrasting with bright colours lends this show a retro feel, yet the art itself is cutting edge and carves its own niche. This exhibition is an engaging, mesmerising and surreal experience that we thoroughly enjoyed.
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg: The Gates of the Festival is on at Lisson Gallery, 52 Bell St, NW1 5DA until 1 November. Entrance is free.
For more great art in London, visit our September listings.