Tag Archive | Readymades

Changing Subjects By Elmgreen & Dragset at Flag Art Foundation

Untitled, 2011 By Elmgreen & Dragset (All Photos By Gail)

The Flag Art Foundation is currently hosting Changing Subjects, a solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed Scandinavian artists Elmgreen & Dragset. Changing Subjects, designed by the artists, presents new and existing works from the duo’s twenty-year-long collaboration that address existential issues linked to identity, sexuality, and mortality, as well as an examination of social value systems and the expectations that surround them.

Changing Subjects investigates the multiple meanings of the word “subject” as a noun. In grammatical terms, the subject can be a noun functioning as one of the main components of a clause, making it the element about which the rest of the clause is predicated. In turn, the predicate is the part of a sentence or clause that expresses what is said of the subject on its own. In the context of Changing Subjects, the subject of each work exists independently of the others, yet when viewed together, they shift positions, creating a complex interconnection between the autonomous works.

Go Go Go
Go, Go, Go!

The works in the exhibition, ranging in date of creation from 1998 to 2016, collectively guide visitors on a non-linear journey through various life stages. However, the sculptures and installations do not mark momentous occasions; on the contrary, they show introspective, unspectacular moments, by way of a figurative representation, by the use of a minimalist symbolic language, or by employing the actual materials to which they refer. Even when a lifelike human form is not shown, presence is implied through absence. The repeated use of an antiseptic material like stainless steel underscores a sense of a clinical study and evokes solitary feelings of abandonment.

Modern Moses
Modern Moses

Among the works in the exhibition on the 9th floor is Modern Moses, 2006, a wax figure depicting a sleeping baby in a carrycot at the food of an ATM machine; and The Experiment (2011) a sculpture of a little boy in front of a mirror wearing his mother’s lipstick and high heels.

The Experiment

Powerless Structures Fig 19
Powerless Structures, Fig. 19

An early readymade by the artist duo, Powerless Structures, Fig. 19, (1998), consists of two pairs of Calvin Klein underwear inside faded Levi’s jeans lying on the floor, as if someone has just undressed and dropped them.

Side Effects

Side Effects (2015), fills the 10th floor with an installation of hand-blown glass vases filled with the actual pastel-colored pigments used to coat the latest generation of HIV medicines. The title refers to the physiological effects of the life-saving medication, as well as the resulting decrease in media attention that has followed these medical advances.

Side Effects

The exhibition also includes a site-specific sculpture on its outdoor terrace, overlooking the Hudson River.


Watching (2016) is a new, life-size sculpture of a man on a lifeguard stand, likely more voyeur than rescuer, looking out over the Hudson River with monoculars. Made out of stainless steel, the polished surface mirrors and distorts the surroundings, and shifts the perspective on who and what is being watched.

Changing Subjects By Elmgreen & Dragset will be on Exhibit Through December 17th, 2016 at Flag Art Foundation, Located at 545 West 25th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.



Modern Art Monday Presents: Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? By Marcel Duchamp

Why Not Sneeze
All Photos By Gail

Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? is a 1921 Readymade sculpture by Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp considered this to be an “Assisted Readymade” because the original object, the Birdcage, was altered by the artist with the addition of the other objects. These consist of 152 white cubes (made of marble but resembling sugar cubes), a mercury thermometer, a piece of cuttlebone, and a tiny porcelain dish.

Why Not Sneeze

The birdcage is made of painted metal and contains several wooden perches. Rrose Sélavy, or Rose Sélavy, was one of the pseudonyms used by artist for the creation of other works, such as This One.

Why Not Sneeze

The Philadelphia Museum of Art displays the original as part of the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. Several replicas made by Duchamp exist (this is one, from 1964, of those) but only in the original are the cubes stamped “Made in France.”

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Why Not Sneeze

A$AP (Safety Exit) By Siu Lan Ko

A$AP Sign
A$AP (Safety Exit), 2010; LED Lightbox, Aluminum Frame, Glass Panel, LED Lights, Still Screen
Edition of Eight (Photo By Gail)

Our friends from Petersen Parts have mentioned an avid customer of theirs, Chinese artist Siu Lan Ko makes objects, public works, performances, videos and installations. Words and slogans as readymades are at the center of her art process. Living in both China and Canada, she enjoys wordplay and actions which reflect the misunderstandings and contradictions that result from different coexisting cultures, languages and social systems, stemming from her China East versus China West cultural experiences. Her performances, installations, objects and Public Works utilized the possibilities created by the impossibility of translation, and embrace the poetic limitations of speech.