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Elmgreen & Dragset: IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK

Venue: Blueproject Foundation
Princesa, 57
08003 Barcelona
Price: Free event
Exhibition

The Blueproject Foundation presents the solo exhibition “It’s Not What You Think”, by the artist duo Elmgreen and Dragset, which will be shown at Il Salotto from June 7 to October 27, 2019.
The installation transforms Il Salotto into a different setting: an abandoned, underground boiler room with tubes crisscrossing the space. The artist duo continues their practice of altering art spaces by turning the white cube gallery room into a location that contrasts the discreet format in which contemporary art is normally presented. Industrial metal tubes of various sizes dominate the space, re-directing visitors’ movements as they must step over, bend under, or walk around the tubes in order to navigate the site.
While the tubes’ pastel colors are colors that can be found in real-life industrial settings, they also correspond to the color tones of food pigments used to coat the pills in some of the latest generations of HIV medicines like Truvada, Atripla, Stribild and Isentress. These pastel colors might appear innocent, even inviting, like candy, camouflaging the toxicity of such medications. Everything in the exhibition is based on sets of uncertainties in which nothing is as it appears at first glance. The boiler room is of course just a fiction: the tubes are dysfunctional and the boiler room itself serves as a metaphor for the body as both a biological and cultural product.
The melancholic atmosphere in this non-functional boiler room installation at once reflects on a postindustrial reality in which we feel bodily estranged from spaces that were previously based on manual labor, and acts as a reminder of how our bodies themselves have now been reduced from their original role as the core of production in our society to becoming just consumer targets for the pharmaceutical and entertainment industries.