Elmgreen & Dragset unveil their latest project at Victoria Miro next month. Opening on 13 October, Self-Portraits will be the duo’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, and their first at the space in Mayfair. Known for their controversial sculptures and installations that reconfigure the familiar with wit and subversive humour, their practice persistently raises issues around social models and social spaces. The show continues Elmgreen & Dragset’s investigations into physical and social conventions, with a particular focus on the rules and regulations of art galleries and other institutions.
Based in London and Berlin, the Scandinavian artists have been building a collaborative practice since the mid 1990s. Self-Portraits will collate a new series of works that are representations of museum wall labels of other artists’ works, including David Hockney, Ross Bleckner, Roni Horn, Martin Kippenberger, and Nicole Eisenmann. For the project, Elmgreen & Dragset have appropriated wall labels and transformed them into art works in their own right. Whereas such labels are usually printed on throwaway cardboard materials, in a scale that is meant to be detected but not too visible, these labels are over-sized and manufactured in a selection of artistically significant materials such as marble, paint, charcoal and enamel.
Reminiscent of earlier works including The Named Series (2012), which consisted of wall surfaces removed by a restorer from the interior of some of the world’s most renowned museums and then reapplied to canvas as monochromes, Self-Portraits questions our interaction and understanding of institutionalised realms in society. Alongside this, the exhibition signals a personal reflection from the artists on their own relationship to specific works by other practitioners. In turn, this questions the definition of what a self-portrait is and how personal histories and identities are generated in today’s cultural climate.
Self-Portraits coincides with Elmgreen & Dragset’s solo exhibition Stigma, 12 October – 21 November, Massimo De Carlo, London.
Elmgreen & Dragset, Self-Portraits, 13 October – 7 November, Victoria Miro Mayfair, 14 St George Street London W1S 1FE.
Find out more at www.victoria-miro.com.
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1. Elmgreen & Dragset, Social Mobility 2008. Courtesy of the artists and Victoria Miro.