Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structuresby Keren Goldberg | 30.03.16
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.
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.
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.
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