Lukács & Broersen – Double Nature

Recontemporary / Lounge

22 October — 3 December 2021

Opening 22 October, 6:00 pm


6.00 9.00 pm

Shown at Recontemporary
Wed. Thur. Fri. Sat. 15.30-19.30

Free entry
*Green Pass mandatory

Recontemporary presents for the first time in TurinDouble Nature“, an exhibition by the Dutch artist duo Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukács. Through the use of different technologies, the duo tries to modify the method in which the stories are told, thanks to citations, references and incorporations. Immersive and innovative: the result is a combination of real and artificial. The works are able to transport the viewer into new, dreamlike but deceptive worlds, far from cultural references, in which the only protagonist is nature itself. Deeply rooted in European romanticism, wilderness is now threatened by civilization and technology. The representation provided by Broersen and Lukács, consisting of layered projections, digital animations and spatial installations, aims to reflect on a planet free from the weight of humanity. The exhibition opens on 22 October and continues until 3 December, within the spaces of Via Gaudenzio Ferrari 12 in Turin.

MASTERING BAMBI Walt Disney’s 1942 classic animation film Bambi is well known for its distinct main characters — a variety of cute, anthropomorphic animals. However, an important but often overlooked protagonist in the movie is nature itself: the pristine wilderness as the main grid on which Disney structured his Bambi. One of the first virtual worlds was created here: a world of deceptive realism and harmony, in which man is the only enemy. Disney strived to be true to nature, but he also used nature as a metaphor for human society. In his view, deeply rooted in European romanticism, the wilderness is threatened by civilization and technology. The forest, therefore, is depicted as a ‘magic well’, the ultimate purifying ‘frontier’, where the inhabitants peacefully coexist.
Interestingly, the original 1924 Austrian novel Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten was banned in 1936 by Adolf Hitler. The novel shows nature (and human society) more as a bleak, Darwinist reality of competition, violence and death. Broersen and Lukács have recreated the model of Disney’s pristine vision, meticulously constructed with photos from the real American wilderness, but they have stripped the forest of its harmonious inhabitants, the animals. What remains is another reality, a constructed and lacking wilderness, where nature becomes the mirror of our own imagination. The soundtrack is made by Berend Dubbe and Gwendolyn Thomas. They’ve reconstructed Bambi’s music, in which they turned it inside out, to reveal the dissonants underlying the original score.

FOREST ON LOCATION Broersen and Lukács documented parts of the last primeval of Europe, Białowieża Forest, and created a virtual model of this wilderness under threat. Using a technique called photogrammetry, the duo was able to copy three-dimen- sional environments and elements in the forest by photo- graphing them from every possible angle. This virtual forest forms the backdrop to the performance by the Iranian opera singer, Shahram Yazdani. In collabo- ration with Broersen & Lukács he created a Farsi reinter- pretation of ‘Nature Boy’, the popular hit made famous by Nat King Cole. Soon after it’s success the song was claimed by Herman Yablokoff, a Yiddish Broadway com- poser who grew up in Białowieża. His lamentation Shvayg Main Harts (Be Still My Heart) tells a story about a Rus- sian immigrant who left for New York where he silences his heart and becomes isolated.

Exhibited art pieces

Author biography

With a plethora of technology that unceasingly quotes, references, embeds and re-tweets, the way stories are told has profoundly changed. Much of Broersen and Lukacs’ practice is informed by these questions, deeply rooted in their interest in the workings of media and technology, intertwined with the history of ornament and the politics of depicting landscapes culled from political, mythological, (art)historical and filmic sources.

Their work, consisting of layered projections, digital animations and spatial installations, has been exhibited by renowned institutions and organisations worldwide, including the Biennale of Sydney (Australia), Rencontres Arles (FR), Wuzhen Biennial Now Is The Time (CN), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL), FOAM (NL), MUHKA, Gent (BE), Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR), Shanghai World Expo (CN), Today’s Art Museum (CN), Kröller Müller, Otterlo (NL), Haus der Kunsten der Welt Berlin (DE) / Louvre Paris (FR) for Rencontres Internationales Paris-Berlin and more.

Recent and upcoming shows are among others: The Botanical Revolution, Centraal Museum Utrecht (NL), And the Forests will Echo with Laughter, Eres-Stiftung, Munchen (DE), The Real of Unreal (solo) A4ArtMuseum Chengdu (CN), Forest on Location (solo), A-Space, Toronto (CA), On Earth at Le Lieu Unique, Nantes (FR), Shaping the Invisible World. From Radical Cartography to Virtual Landscapes at HeK, Basel (CH) and Rubble: A Matter of Time at Auckland Art Gallery (NZ) curated by Juliana Engberg.