Complete transformation for Rotterdam’s Submarine Wharf

Elmgreen & Dragset in front of the Submarine Wharf (2011). Photo: Femke Hoogland

Press release

Complete transformation for Rotterdam’s Submarine Wharf
Elmgreen & Dragset
The One & The Many
28 May - 25 September 2011

Precisely what is on show remains under wraps until the last moment. But there is no doubt that the Submarine Wharf is currently undergoing a surreal total transformation. This metamorphosis is the responsibility of Elmgreen & Dragset: a large-scale art project in Rotterdam’s harbour organised by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Port of Rotterdam.

The art duo Michael Elmgreen (Denmark, 1961) and Ingar Dragset (Norway, 1969) have created a vast exhibition featuring a specially designed block of flats, an abandoned funfair ride and numerous other elements. The exhibition ‘The One & The Many’ transforms the 5000m2 former Submarine Wharf into a deprived neighbourhood with a sinister atmosphere. These are the fringes of society: a tough underworld with dubious characters and shocking activities.

Thanks to the exhibition ‘The One & The Many’ this summer all eyes are once again focused on the RDM complex in Rotterdam’s harbour. Until 2014 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Port of Rotterdam are collaborating on a series of large-scale art projects in the Submarine Wharf. The series kicked off last year with Atelier van Lieshout’s exhibition ‘Infernopolis’, which De Volkskrant called ‘this summer’s absolute art hit’. The official opening of ‘The One & The Many’ will take place on 28 May. (Note for the press: press preview on Wednesday 25 May)

It’s never too late…
New work by Elmgreen & Dragset is also on display elsewhere in Rotterdam. At midday on the same day as the opening in the Submarine Wharf – Saturday 28 May – the work ‘It’s Never Too Late to Say Sorry’ will be unveiled on the Coolsingel. The work consists of a glistening display case on a dark granite plinth, housing a polished stainless-steel megaphone. Each day, just before midday, a person will appear, open the door in the case and remove the megaphone. At exactly twelve o’clock the person will exclaim through the megaphone the short and simple phrase: ‘It's never too late to say sorry’. This ‘performance / sculpture’ will be performed daily in Rotterdam for at least a year. The work was commissioned by Sculpture International Rotterdam.

Highly praised
Elmgreen & Dragset have worked together since 1995. They live in London and Berlin. Their art works express their critical relationship to Western consumer society. In 2006 the duo produced the widely praised exhibition ‘The Welfare Show’ at the Serpentine Gallery in London. In 2009 they presented ‘The Collectors’ at the 53rd Venice Biennale and in op 2010 ‘Celebrity – The One and the Many’ at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. In 2003 they won the prestigious ‘Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst’ and in 2009 they received the ‘Special Mention’ at the Venice Biennale. Elmgreen & Dragset have been selected to create a sculpture for the ‘Fourth Plinth’ in Trafalgar Square in London in 2012.

Turbine Hall versus Submarine Wharf
More than 20,000 people visited the Submarine Wharf in 2010. The press and the public compared the Submarine Wharf from 1937 with the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London. The Submarine Wharf in the RDM complex is one of the Port of Rotterdam’s initiatives to bring the public into closer contact with the harbour.

This exhibition in the Submarine Wharf has been organised by the Port of Rotterdam and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, with a special contribution from the BankGiro Loterij and the Municipality of Rotterdam.

Note for editors
For more information and images please contact the Marketing and Communications Department, telephone +31 (0)10 441 9561 or pressoffice@boijmans.nl. On publication please mention: www.boijmans.nl. Click here for information about press previews and interviews.
For more information about the Submarine Wharf and the RDM complex: Sjaak Poppe, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam, +31 (0)10 252 1427, s.poppe@portofrotterdam.com, www.onderzeebootloods.nl.

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