At the Whitechapel, the Subversive Irony of Elmgreen & Dragset

At the Whitechapel, the Subversive Irony of Elmgreen & Dragset
#Exhibitions

A Prada boutique in the middle of the desert in Texas, a young person on a rocking horse among the Admirals of Trafalgar Square, the Samsung Museum of Art in Seul transformed into an airport, the house of an imaginary architect built within the halls of the Victoria and Albert Museum - these are just some of the provocations conceived by Michael Elmgreen and Ingmar Dragset in a collaboration that has spanned over twenty years. Now, this duo from the North - Elmgreen from Denmark, Dragset from Norway, both making Berlin their home - return to invade the spaces of the Whitechapel Gallery with their largest exhibition ever in the United Kingdom. Their is a scathing irony and a subtle hint of melancholy in this latest unique project of theirs, which, once again, subverts the hidden narrative of the quotidian. Environmental installations, powerful sculptures and tributes to colleagues such as Louise Bourgeois all come together in an itinerary that looks at the careers of the two artists. And while the immense Whitechapel Pool, created expressly for the London Gallery, points a finger at the abandonment of public spaces in this era of austerity, a vast gathering of white statues, solemn like religious icons or relics, take on themes such as gender, violence and hope for the future, in an unstable balance maintained between fear and wanting.
Francesca Grego - © 2018 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London