In the summer of 2011 the former Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam’s harbour had been transformed for the second time into an exhibition space as part of an ongoing partnership between Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Port of Rotterdam.
The series was inaugurated last year with Rotterdam-based Atelier Van Lieshout’s Infernopolis. Elmgreen & Dragset were invited to create this year’s presentation. The Scandinavian art duo, best known for their Prada shop in the desert at Marfa, Texas, created a hallucinatory experience in the Submarine Wharf.
Joyce Roodnat of the NRC Handelsblad recently wrote the following about the exhibition: ‘I buy a ticket and enter. An underprivileged area. With a dead tree. Strewn litter. A jacked-up limousine. Twilight flickers over a six-storey block of flats. You are allowed to peep inside, encouraged to do so: there are binoculars on hand. (…) Actors, but that’s not how it feels. (…) I cannot escape my role: the peeping Tom. (…) Is that man with the beige jacket in on it? He asks me if I want to take a turn on the Ferris wheel. ‘Coffee break’, he cries as the Ferris wheel comes to a halt with me at the top. Once again the work of art absorbs me. I am once again the one against the many. The One and The Many, indeed.’
Elmgreen & Dragset on television
For the online video channel of the museum ArtTube, Elmgreen & Dragset have explained some things about their exhibition The One & The Many at the Submarine Wharf. Watch this interview here.
Vernissage TV made a nice interview with director Sjarel Ex about the exhibition in the Submarine Wharf. Deutsche Welle also made a television report about the exhibition, also in German. A regional television station has devoted extensive attention to the exhibition, check out this item here (unfortunately for the greater part only in Dutch).
For further inspiration of the artists and their work, watch the interview with the artists at the Venice Biennale, their Prada store in the desert of Texas, and their exhibition at the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe.For an impression about the Submarine Wharf and last year's exhibition, Infernopolis by Atelier van Lieshout, watch this video at ArtTube.
It's Never Too Late to Say Sorry
Just before 12:00 on the 28th of May, on the same day as the opening of the exhibition in the Submarine Wharf, a new sculpture will be unveiled on the Coolsingel. Commissioned by Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR), Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset developed the work It's Never Too Late to Say Sorry (2011). In a carefully designed museological display case containing a polished, stainless steel megaphone on a granite pedestal. Every day, a man will appear at the display case, open the door, take out the megaphone, and blare out over the Coolsingel: "It's never too late to say sorry". This performance will be repeated at 12:00 sharp, every afternoon, for one year starting on the day of the opening.
Trafalgar Square is one of the most famous squares in London. In the corners there are four pillars (plinths) for statues. The fourth plinth has remained empty for financial reasons since 1999 and is used for art demonstrations. Elmgreen & Dragset were selected for filling in the fourth plinth in 2012. They will use a bronze statue of a child on a rocking horse, Powerless Structures, Fig 101. According to the artists, in the context of Trafalgar Square, the child will have the status of a historical hero.
This exhibition in the Submarine Wharf had 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.