Elmgreen and Dragset: Dark City

The Artist Duo Build an Affecting Urban Landscape for The One and the Many

Staged in Rotterdam’s disused Submarine Wharf, Elmgreen and Dragset's exhibition The One and the Many sees the Scandinavian pair transform the cavernous industrial setting into a homemade cityscape with actors inhabiting the roles of disaffected locals. Director Leigh Johnson filmed the installation's performers, including a teenage mother tensely conversing with her boyfriend, and a couple of resident hustlers making their rounds. The piece invites the audience to play tourists placed in a “wrong side of the tracks” neighborhood cloaked in a state of perpetual darkness. The architectural focal point is a four-story apartment block, frequented by “tenants” whose interactions can be observed from a Ferris wheel. “In its own poetic way it’s a tribute to public space,” the artists explain. “Today in many neighborhoods, these areas are left deserted after dusk due to a widespread fear of crime and obsessions with digital media, which we mainly interact with at home.” Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have recently been selected to represent their countries (Denmark and Norway, respectively) with an installation in London's Trafalgar Square. The One and the Many, presented by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Port of Rotterdam, runs until September 25.



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