On 11 November 2020, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset and Avant Arte
, the worlds largest online community of art lovers, launch a new edition entitled THE FUTURE. The original version, a life size, wall mounted sculptural installation was created in 2014 for Biography, a major solo retrospective presented in Oslo and Copenhagen, and was later acquired by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The new limited-edition is a reimagining, with a meaning that has morphed and shifted poignantly through its new adaptation into domestic scale.
The duo, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, have made a profound mark on the art world since they joined forces in 1995. Through their sculptures, installations and performances, Elmgreen & Dragset challenge their audiences to rethink societal norms. For The Future, a small scale wall sculpture in a limited edition of 30, the artists commemorate the boredom, loneliness and introspection of youth.
The Future is a hyperreal portrait in distinct contrast to todays digital selfie culture. Elmgreen & Dragsets subject is an anti-hero a young boy looking into his future, an image both moving and full of potential. Perhaps more poignant now than ever, The Future speaks to the isolation and uncertainty of our times.
As with all their projects, for Elmgreen & Dragset context is key, and each work is closely considered in relation to its audience and its setting: public sculpture versus gallery exhibition, commercial space versus civic institution. Each time they exhibit The Future, its surroundings reshape its meaning and interpretations. At the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, for their major exhibition Biography (2014), The Future was mounted to look over Death of a Collector (2009), an installation where a fictional art collector is shown floating face down in a swimming pool the swimming pool being a recurrent theme in Elmgreen & Dragsets work. At the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, installed alongside For as Long as It Lasts (2016), a life-size copy of the Berlin Wall, the work was pulled into an entirely new context, situating it between histories of Communism and the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. In this way, through its various installations, The Future has opened discussions on temporality, spectatorship, and the physical and ideological boundaries of space, whilst directly challenging its viewers to consider the socio-political context of both the artwork and our own lives. In both of these examples, the impeccable design of their work rewrites modernist sculpture, and pulls together social commentary and Minimalist aesthetics.
This new edition of The Future takes the work into yet another new context as a miniature in scale, it is the quieter, intimate attributes of thoughtful contemplation that are further underlined. The notion of the introspective is even more pertinent as we are introduced to new realities, new codes of behaviour and new restrictions to our daily existence.
Elmgreen & Dragset said: Like many of our other works, and especially in light of the current selfie craze on social media, we wanted to make something that was more introspective, focused on calm, quiet moments of reflection, something not spectacular, thats intimate and not necessarily shiny and happy. We cannot predict the future; we do not yet know what is in store for younger generations, like the teenager seated on the fire escape. Growing up is always painful.
The Future is a limited sculpture edition of 30. The original artwork was created for Biography, a major solo retrospective in two parts, presented at the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo (2014), the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen (2014-2015). The work was later exhibited in Powerless Structures at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2016).
Avant Artes edition is constructed with powder coated steel, and features a hyperreal, clothed figure made of resin. The work measures 64 x 45 x 20cm. 7500 excluding VAT.