Art

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures

by Keren Goldberg | 30.03.16

BerlinWall_1

Elmgreen & Dragset, a half Danish half Norwegian artist duo, have been working together since 1995. They are known for morphing spaces: they turned the Danish and Nordic Pavilions at the 53rd Venice Biennale to a collector’s mansion (The Collectors, 2009); installed a well-stocked Prada booth in the middle of the Texan desert (Prada Marfa, 2005), dressed the Victoria & Albert Museum’s galleries as rooms in a retired architect’s house, and transformed a London gallery into an empty night club (Too Late, 2008).

Now its Tel Aviv Museum’s turn – but instead of altering its spaces altogether, the duo will position their works in its in-between spaces; creating not an exhibition, but a “fragmented trajectory”. Titled Powerless Structures, after the artists’ famous series, it will include eight pieces, some newly commissioned.

Donation Box, 2006 Courtesy Private Collection, Paris, Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Donation Box, 2006, courtesy Private Collection, Paris, photo: Anders Sune Berg

Most of the works in this project deconstruct the museum’s public spaces along with their implications. Other Landscapes, for example, is a mock-installation. It mimics the installment of a soon-to-be-open (fictional) Matisse show with wall signage, scaffolding and leftover tools. While this is a pre-structure, a different work – For as Long as It Lasts – mimics a “post”, powerless structure – the iconic Berlin wall.

Modern Moses, 2006 Courtesy Sammlung Goetz, München, Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Modern Moses, 2006, courtesy Sammlung Goetz, München, photo: Anders Sune Berg

Others abstract structures, like currencies and economic systems, repeat in this show: Wishing Well/Powerless Structures, (Fig. 166 2016) is an outdoor sculpture of a sealed well in which the coins are blank, and therefore valueless. Coins are also missing from a donation box, which is sealed off and filled with random objects (Donation Box, 2006). Elsewhere, a mock cash machine will be fixed to the wall, beneath it a carrycot holding a wax baby – little abounded Moses, as the title Modern Moses (2006) indicates.

The Future, 2014, courtesy Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, photo: Anders Sune Berg

The Future, 2014, courtesy Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, photo: Anders Sune Berg

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures will be on view at the Tel Aviv Museum from 31 March – 27 August 2016.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Shaul HaMelech Boulevard 27.
03-6077020 | www.tamuseum.org.il

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