Tuesday, 22 July 2014
unexpected events at the Astrup Fearnley Museet
Sometimes you just don't know what to expect.
I first noticed Elmgreen and Dragset's work when they exhibited on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Officially called 'Powerless Structures, Fig. 101', I'd describe it as the golden boy on an plywood rocking horse. It simply subverted the idea of a great leader on a horse in such a prime location.
At the fantastic Astrup Fearnley Museet, here in Oslo, there's a whole collection of Elmgreen and Dragset's installations, which start disarmingly in the entrance to the main site. They've taken over a downstairs area which I guess is normally the way to the restrooms and created something of a makeover, innocently disorientating everyone who ventures into the space.
The neon lit 'Amigos' sign give a hint and expressions start to change before everyone experiences somewhat more than expected, creating a whole extra level of mannered accidental and humorous participation.
Then into the main exhibition, via what seemed to be the remnants of a gay disco bar after a particularly wild party.
Further along, there was plenty to see and challenge and enough space for the show to have room to breathe.