Before the Storm, 2019

Miami Beach 2019
Kukje Gallery
Installation

The five sculptural works here are emblematic of the swimming pool motif, a recurrent theme used since the duo's first sculpture in 1997, and concurrent to their Bent Pool (2019) installed outside the Miami Beach Convention Center. Aesthetically minimalist, these works relate to the leisurely context of Miami and are open to multiple interpretations. Although immediately evocative of pleasure and les vacances, the installation engages nonetheless with the discourse on private and public environments, the physicality of the body in space, human vulnerabilities, and the challenges of co-existing. The pool theme also relates to the duo’s previous large-scale public sculptures, including Van Gogh’s Ear (2016), an awkwardly upright swimming pool shell at Rockefeller Center, New York.

Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen, born 1961 in Copenhagen, Denmark; Ingar Dragset, born 1969 in Trondheim, Norway) have worked together as an artist duo since 1995. The artists’ works often employ both humor and poignant sarcasm to comment on social and political issues. Across multiple mediums, the artists not only create narrative scenarios but also draw on absurdity to undermine the rigid systems that are embedded in the society we live in. The duo is based in Berlin.