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Stand by me

Elmgreen & Dragset

08.03.2022 | 19.03.2022
Pièce Unique

For their first presentation at MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique in Paris, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset subvert the exhibition space by creating a psychologically charged tension between the viewer and the work on display.

Produced specifically for MASSIMODECARLO’s rue de Turenne space, Stand By Me is a life-size marble statue of a young boy leaning his hands against the gallery’s clear street-facing window.

Gazing out towards the busy street, the small boy’s placid, ambiguous presence rouses curiosity. Why is he standing there? What is he watching: could it be the passers-by outside or an event that has just taken place, which we were not privy to? It is not clear if he is content or if we are looking at a young boy longing for something beyond his reach.

Enticed into an ambiguous freeze-frame, viewers are invited to contemplate the boy’s own interior world as well as his situation, caught between public and private spheres, in a place of solitude. Whilst we consider how to identify with this child, his motionless, white Carrara marble figure reminds us of his artificiality. Like a mirage glimpsed from outside the windowpane, Stand By Me has an almost ghost-like quality that seems to both communicate with us and disregard us all at once.

Elmgreen & Dragset’s sculptural practice often pursues questions of masculinity and upbringing, challenging traditional depictions of the male as heroic. Many of their figurative sculptures are made in classical materials such as bronze or marble but are then embedded in contemporary settings or narratives. Developing these thematic investigations, Stand By Me is the latest in a body of work that explores the emotional tribulations of childhood.

The sculpture sits in dialogue with some of the artist duo’s earlier works such as Dilemma (2017), where the figure of a boy is seen standing on the edge of a tall diving board in Ekeberg Sculpture Park, Oslo, or Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, a sculpture of a boy astride his rocking horse, first shown in 2012 on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

To quote the artists’ own words: “we often show the male form – a leitmotif in our sculptural works – during childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood in a moment of contemplation, vulnerability, wonder, fear, excitement or discomfort, or a combination of these. These depictions subvert the conventional representation of masculinity in classical sculpture, which often portrays the male figure in a heroic posture.”

This presentation at MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique is organized in the lead-up to Elmgreen & Dragset’s much anticipated exhibition « Useless bodies? » that will open at Fondazione Prada on March 31st in Milan. We acknowledge Perrotin and MASSIMODECARLO Milano for this exhibition.

Elmgreen & Dragset

迈克尔·埃尔姆格林 (Michael Elmgreen) 1961 年出生于丹麦哥本哈根; Ingar Dragset 1969 年出生于挪威特隆赫姆; 他们自 1995 年以来一直作为艺术家二人组工作。他们在柏林生活和工作。 为了向公众揭示和重新定义艺术世界、其文化机构及其成果,埃尔姆格林和德拉塞特从日常生活中汲取灵感,通过强烈而令人不安的幽默感批评当代社会和政治结构。 他们以其众多的公共建筑和表演设施而闻名,其中包括 2005 年建成的位于德克萨斯州沙漠中部的 Prada 商店 Prada Marfa,以及 2003 年米兰维托里奥·埃马努埃莱画廊 (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele) 中汽车拔地而起的 Short Cut ,与尼古拉·特鲁萨迪基金会 (Fondazione Nicola Trussardi) 共同制作。 Elmgreen & Dragset 通过创作令人震惊且壮观的图像不断挑战公众及其想象力。

艾姆格林和德拉塞特被任命为第十五届伊斯坦布尔双年展(2017 年)的策展人。 他们在第 53 届威尼斯双年展(2009 年)丹麦和北欧馆的《收藏家》中获得特别提名,并在柏林汉堡火车站荣获著名的国家美术馆奖(2002 年)。

Elmgreen Dragset Photo Andrea Rossetti Pw Ve5 L