Nora Turato

Nora Turato. Photo: Robert Apa
© Basement Roma/CURA

 

Born in Zagreb and based in Amsterdam, Nora Turato (*1991) examines the ephemeral and versatile nature of language as well as our collective experience of the incessant current-day stream of words. Using text as her artistic source material, Turato collates and dissects the cacophonous barrage of information we find ourselves confronted with daily. Funneling appropriated words, fragments and quotes into performances, books, enamel panels, installations, and video works, the artist arrives at captivating incantations that harness the essence and the nonsense of what collectively moves us.

 

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Turato’s pools, a series of artist books, act as an anthology of found text compiled from a myriad of sources: journalism, advertisements, social media, conversations, literature, film and her own writing. She likens these collections to an “annual report, a hard copy of language exchanged,” reflections of her personal influences, and simultaneously seismographs of societal preoccupations. Phrases such as “[G]od is / the father / and god / didnt show / up” or “Things have gone haywire. My 12-year-old is calling my 14-year-old a boomer” and “[W]e regret / that you heard / about this,” found in the pages of pool 4 (2020), can be pinpointed to a particular moment in time, capturing the zeitgeist.

These textual reservoirs serve as a basis for Turato’s larger body of work, not least her performances. Constructed as oft half-hour-long monologues, she meticulously choreographs and rehearses her performances utilizing voice – Turato has trained with a vocal and dialect coach for film actors since 2021 – and gesture as her medium. The artist inhabits different personas by employing facial expressions, her entire body, diction, rhythm, repetition and tone to convey both the seductive power of language as well as its frailty and fallibility.

Turato’s 2022 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York saw her perform a script built from pool 5. While past performances commented on the misogynistic narrative of the “hysterical female,” this work channeled a distinctly masculine guise, adopting the language, mannerisms and bravado of a sales hawker – the slippery character peddling diverse products from protein bars to data on the global movement of oil tanks. Turato’s current work explores a pervasive and oppressive self-betterment culture and the individual and collective anxieties it produces. Drawing from mantras, positive affirmations, personal growth books and other sources of so-called wellness, she taps into an omnipresent phraseology to hold a mirror up to contemporary concerns and parlance.

In her enamel panels and large-scale, site-specific wall paintings the artist employs language both as content and medium. Turato’s interest in the aesthetic minutiae that influence our understanding of a visual world is evident in her regular development of typefaces made in collaboration with designers such as Sabo Day, Jung-Lee Type Foundry, and most recently Sam de Groot and Kia Tasbihgou. Turato’s play on the aesthetic properties of the type and letters visually mimics tone adjustment or the change of a word’s inflection, much like how she commands and stretches language in her monologues.

The painstakingly precise murals are easily confused for digital creations but are instead achieved by hand. Turato designs stencil patterns that are printed on paper, taped to the wall, cut out, and then filled with multiple layers of paint. Discernible only up-close, subtle imperfections tell of their making. There is a visceral tension between form and content inherent to all Turato’s works. The act of wading through the unabating mass of everyday language over long periods of time, her slow and careful mode of production, rehearsing and perfecting the material – all cumulates in an approach starkly contrasting our high-speed era of information consumption that regurgitates words to the point of meaninglessness. Turato’s works decidedly demand and captivate a scarce commodity in a distracted world: the viewer’s attention.

 

Produced by Art Basel in collaboration with Nowness. Directed by Jeroen Dankers.

 

Artist Talk

Nora Turato and Ana Janevski
Filmed at Sprüth Magers, Berlin
September 15, 2023

Sprüth Magers was pleased to host a conversation between Nora Turato and Ana Janevski, Curator in the Department of Media and Performance at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, on the occasion of the opening of the artist’s solo exhibition NOT YOUR USUAL SELF? at the Berlin gallery.

Click here to watch the conversation.

 

Nora Turato

Nora Turato in conversation with Ana Janevski, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, 2023

Details
Nora Turato

Nora Turato in conversation with Ana Janevski, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, 2023

Nora Turato and Ana Janevski
Filmed at Sprüth Magers, Berlin
September 15, 2023

Sprüth Magers was pleased to host a conversation between Nora Turato and Ana Janevski, Curator in the Department of Media and Performance at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, on the occasion of the opening of the artist’s solo exhibition NOT YOUR USUAL SELF? at the Berlin gallery.

Click here to watch the conversation.

 

Works
Nora Turato
Nora Turato
NOT YOUR USUAL SELF?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, September 16–November 7, 2023

Nora Turato
NOT YOUR USUAL SELF?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, September 16–November 7, 2023
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
it's all in your head / what's in your head?, 2023

Nora Turato
it's all in your head / what's in your head?, 2023
Vitreous enamel on steel (4 parts)
242 × 192.5 × 3 cm
95 1/4 × 75 7/8 × 1 1/8 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
does that make any sense?, 2023

Nora Turato
does that make any sense?, 2023
Vitreous enamel on steel (2 parts)
192.5 × 120 × 3 cm
75 7/8 × 47 1/4 × 1 1/8 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
eeeexactlyyy my point., 2021
Installation view, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, commissioned by Mudam Luxembourg, September 17, 2022–January 15, 2023

Nora Turato
eeeexactlyyy my point., 2021
Installation view, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, commissioned by Mudam Luxembourg, September 17, 2022–January 15, 2023
Photo: David Stjernholm

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
and i'm like dah dah dah dah dah is it right that blah blah blah blah? and he’ll say yes, but think of this, 2022

Nora Turato
and i'm like dah dah dah dah dah is it right that blah blah blah blah? and he’ll say yes, but think of this, 2022
Vitreous enamel on steel (4 parts)
242 × 192.5 cm
95 1/4 × 75 7/8 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
govern me harder, 2022

Nora Turato
govern me harder, 2022
Vitreous enamel on steel (2 parts)
192.5 × 120 cm
75 7/8 × 47 1/4 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
but blatant ambition has an unfortunate way of accentuating failure, 2019

Nora Turato
but blatant ambition has an unfortunate way of accentuating failure, 2019
Vitreous enamel on steel (4 parts)
192.5 × 242 cm
75 7/8 × 95 1/4 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
pool 5
Performance view, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 5–20, 2022

Nora Turato
pool 5
Performance view, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 5–20, 2022
Photo: © MoMA New York, 2022

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
unlock everything, 2022

Nora Turato
unlock everything, 2022
Vitreous enamel on steel (2 parts)
192.5 × 120 cm
75 7/8 × 47 1/4 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
people think i'm hanging around town with my dick in my hand but i'm doing shit all day every day i haven't been home in months, 2020

Nora Turato
people think i'm hanging around town with my dick in my hand but i'm doing shit all day every day i haven't been home in months, 2020
Vitreous enamel on steel (2 parts)
192.5 × 120 cm
75 7/8 × 47 1/4 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
none of this matters in a real world, 2021

Nora Turato
none of this matters in a real world, 2021
Digital video, no sound
5 min, looped

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
everything has to be twisted before it's any use to us, 2022

Nora Turato
everything has to be twisted before it's any use to us, 2022
Ink-jet print on glossy paper
156 × 110 cm
61 3/8 × 43 1/4 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
an ambiguity we feel compelled to resolve by acquiring more facts, 2022

Nora Turato
an ambiguity we feel compelled to resolve by acquiring more facts, 2022
Ink-jet print on glossy paper
156 × 110 cm
61 3/8 × 43 1/4 inches

Nora Turato
Nora Turato
wow this huge wooden horse is great
Installation view, Centre Pompidou, Paris, December 16, 2020–January 3, 2021

Nora Turato
wow this huge wooden horse is great
Installation view, Centre Pompidou, Paris, December 16, 2020–January 3, 2021
Photo: Herve Veronese

Details
Nora Turato

Nora Turato
NOT YOUR USUAL SELF?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, September 16–November 7, 2023
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
it's all in your head / what's in your head?, 2023
Vitreous enamel on steel (4 parts)
242 × 192.5 × 3 cm
95 1/4 × 75 7/8 × 1 1/8 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
does that make any sense?, 2023
Vitreous enamel on steel (2 parts)
192.5 × 120 × 3 cm
75 7/8 × 47 1/4 × 1 1/8 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
eeeexactlyyy my point., 2021
Installation view, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, commissioned by Mudam Luxembourg, September 17, 2022–January 15, 2023
Photo: David Stjernholm

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
and i'm like dah dah dah dah dah is it right that blah blah blah blah? and he’ll say yes, but think of this, 2022
Vitreous enamel on steel (4 parts)
242 × 192.5 cm
95 1/4 × 75 7/8 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
govern me harder, 2022
Vitreous enamel on steel (2 parts)
192.5 × 120 cm
75 7/8 × 47 1/4 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
but blatant ambition has an unfortunate way of accentuating failure, 2019
Vitreous enamel on steel (4 parts)
192.5 × 242 cm
75 7/8 × 95 1/4 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
pool 5
Performance view, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 5–20, 2022
Photo: © MoMA New York, 2022

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
unlock everything, 2022
Vitreous enamel on steel (2 parts)
192.5 × 120 cm
75 7/8 × 47 1/4 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
people think i'm hanging around town with my dick in my hand but i'm doing shit all day every day i haven't been home in months, 2020
Vitreous enamel on steel (2 parts)
192.5 × 120 cm
75 7/8 × 47 1/4 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
none of this matters in a real world, 2021
Digital video, no sound
5 min, looped

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
everything has to be twisted before it's any use to us, 2022
Ink-jet print on glossy paper
156 × 110 cm
61 3/8 × 43 1/4 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
an ambiguity we feel compelled to resolve by acquiring more facts, 2022
Ink-jet print on glossy paper
156 × 110 cm
61 3/8 × 43 1/4 inches

Nora Turato

Nora Turato
wow this huge wooden horse is great
Installation view, Centre Pompidou, Paris, December 16, 2020–January 3, 2021
Photo: Herve Veronese

Details
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Current and Upcoming
Nora Turato
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Only the unborn have your right to life), 1986

How language constructs the World
Group Exhibition
Bündner Museum, Chur
Through July 28, 2024

The linguistic and cultural landscape of Graubünden serves as the starting point for the exhibition How Language Constructs the World. The Bündner Kunstmuseum thus takes up a major theme of human culture and localises this regional characteristic in a global context. By focussing on a selection of works by national and international artists as well as historical artefacts from Graubünden, the importance of language and narrative in community and society is highlighted.

Link
Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Nora Turato

Nora Turato
it’s not true!!! stop lying!
February 28–April 27, 2024
Los Angeles

Nora Turato’s medium is language. In a practice that spans performance, video and graphic design, she examines the ephemeral nature of words and the instability of meaning. Using text as her artistic source material, Turato records and dissects the vernacular of our current visual culture and zeitgeist by collating appropriated words, fragments, and quotes and translating them into captivating incantations that harness the essence and the nonsense of what collectively moves us.

Sprüth Magers is pleased to present a solo exhibition by the artist opening late February 2024, which will feature a performance and premiere a new video work alongside her latest enamel panels across both floors of the Los Angeles gallery. The works constitute part of Turato’s sixth installment of pools – anthologies of found text she compiles from a myriad of sources. Picking up the thread of her commission for the 2023 Performa Biennial, as well as her 2023 solo exhibition at Sprüth Magers, Berlin, Turato investigates and interprets the mechanisms of the anxiety-driven culture of self-optimization.

Nora Turato
NOT YOUR USUAL SELF?
September 16–November 7, 2023
Berlin

In recent years, Nora Turato has emerged as one of the most exciting new voices on the contemporary art scene. Throughout her practice – which spans performance, video and graphic design – she examines the ephemeral nature of language, using text as her artistic source material. Drawing from film, advertising, literature, conversations, social media captions and theater, she deploys a collection of appropriated words, sentences, fragments and quotes with sharp wit and studied precision. Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Nora Turato at Sprüth Magers, Berlin, which will debut a series of new enamel panels featuring a custom typeface as well as a site-specific wall painting that cut through the cacophony of everyday life and reflect on the vernacular of present-day visual culture and zeitgeist.

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Nora Turato
Press

Nora Turato’s Emotional Outsourcing
Frieze, article by Pablo Larios, September 21, 2023

Nora Turato’s Epic Pitch
Art in America, article by Jameson Fitzpatrick, June 2, 2022

Studio Visit: With artist Nora Turato
Interview by Kassl Editions, June 2022

Openings: Nora Turato
Artforum, article by Stephanie LaCava, March 2022

How to become a medium: Seismic transmission with Nora Turato
Flash Art, article by Adam Jasper, Winter 2020–21

Biography

Nora Turato (*1991, Zagreb) lives and works in Amsterdam. She will headline Art On The Mart’s program with a commissioned work in spring 2024, on view concurrently with a performance at the Art Institute Chicago. Her performance Cue The Sun was commissioned by Performa and premiered during the Performa Biennial 2023 in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Museum of Modern Art, New York (2022), Secession, Vienna (2021), Centre Pompidou, Paris, MGLC: International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, and Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf (all 2020), Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (2019), Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (2019), and Beursschouwburg, Brussels (2019).

Education
2009–13 Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam
2014–16 Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem
2017–19 Residency at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam