Elmgreen and Dragset have been artist-collaborators since the mid 1990s, with a body of work that explores the link between art, architecture and design. The sculpture Prada Marfa has been permanently installed in the northwest of Texas since 2005, off the highway U.S. Route 90. Mirroring the design of a Prada shop, the work is filled with the fall/winter collection of 2005.
And now they are offering an exclusive digital print of this artwork on S[Edition]. The limited edition ‘print’ of 100 is an eight minute video of the installation throughout a day’s cycle, as the sunlight beats down on the building and then fades into nightfall. I can be purchased for £100. The artists describe the project as pop architectural land art, as it humorously plays with the visual language of Minimalism.
Elmgreen and Dragset engage a number of different areas including institutional or social critique and often deals with important cultural issues – but always tinged with subversive humour and wit. Most importantly, they are responsible for the Rocking Horse sculpture currently occupying Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth – Powerless Structures, Fig. 101. This work has been described by Boris Johnson as ‘a gleaming talisman to watch over our city during this fantastic Olympic year’. It operates in reference to the heroic equestrian statue originally intended for the plinth upon construction in 1841. Cast in bronze and elevated alongside Nelson himself, the child achieves the celebrated status of a military hero in his boyhood fantasy, emulating in innocent play the bloody generals of history.
In the words of the artists, this pun on public monument ‘honours the everyday battles of growing up’, encourages viewers to reconsider the everyday moments of their lives – ostensibly unspectacular, but nevertheless heroic – the struggles of the everyman celebrated alongside traditional icons of reverence. In a period of economic turmoil, foreign war, and looming environmental disaster, the artwork also asks us to look to the future, reassuring us that new heroes will indeed arise to lead mankind from the jaws of destruction.
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