For their first solo exhibition at KÖNIG GALERIE in Berlin, Elmgreen & Dragset will present three new figurative sculptures within an immersive setting that transforms the visual appearance of the upper gallery, the NAVE, at St. Agnes.
Short Story sets the stage for a match between two boys. When entering the gallery space visitors will encounter an almost full-size tennis court, slightly raised off the ground. A net in the middle divides the two players and creates a sort of horizontal diptych. The white lines painted onto the orange-brown ground surface not only indicate the set rules of the sport, but also visually remind us of the grid principles of Modernism and the road markings that regulate our behavioural patterns within public space. The white-painted figurative bronze sculptures of the boys are placed diagonally at opposing ends of the playing field, small and isolated on the large plane. The boys’ bodies and gazes are turned away from each other, the dialogue and play between them have come to an end. Rather than joy, a discomfort seems to have arisen from the game, for both “winner” and “loser”. The scene is a freeze frame capturing the charged moment ensuing a defeat, where the audience, as onlookers, fulfil the narrative. Was it a fair game? Is it ever a fair game?
In a corner beyond the tennis court, there is a third figure of an elderly man half asleep in his wheelchair. With his eyelids closing, his interior world appears to grow larger than his exterior as he slowly withdraws from the reality around him. It is as if the tennis match between the two boys is just a vision in his mind – a distant memory reappearing in a dream. Whilst inviting contemplation on topics like individualism and competition, the scenario with its abrupt narratives, the ostensible collapse of time and the colliding realities in Elmgreen & Dragset’s Short Story provide us with the possibility
of multiple readings.
Elmgreen & Dragset, who have collaborated as an artist duo since 1995, have lived and worked in Berlin since 1997. In their artistic practice they pursue questions of identity and belonging, and through working methods that often challenging conventional modes of exhibition-making, the artist duo aims to
re-contextualize or alter the conditions for how we, as an audience, perceive sculptural objects.
ELMGREEN & DRAGSET Short Story- NOW – 2nd AUGUST 2020 Koenig Berlin
appointments available on koeniggalerie.com
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to the current situation surrounding the Covid-19 epidemic, the exhibition can only be visited after booking a time slot and the gallery will allow a restricted number of visitors at a time into the space to keep everyone safe.
Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen, born 1961 in Copenhagen, Denmark and Ingar Dragset, born 1969 in Trondheim, Norway, living and working in Berlin) deal in their artistic practice with questions of identity and belonging to social, cultural and political structures. Since 1995 they have been working at the interface of art and architecture, performance and installation. They are interested in the discourse that can arise when objects are radically recontextualized and when normal parameters for the representation of art are changed. Their works draw attention to the institutions in which they are exhibited and the politics of these institutions.