​the art show making the humble wall label the star

Elmgreen & Dragset’s new show is a dream come true for people who can’t look at art without all that info.

by Stuart Brumfitt
15 September 2015, 11:38am

Are you a fastidious gallery wall label-looker or a straight-forward artwork gazer? Well if you're on of the former, then you'll understand Elmgreen & Dragset's fascination with the gallery credits that give you the title, date and materials for each piece. Their third show Self-Portraits, which opens at Victoria Miro next month, sees them taking labels from works by the likes of David Hockney, Ross Bleckner and Roni Horn and turning them into the stars of the show by recreating them as large scale pieces in materials such as marble, paint on canvas, charcoal on paper and enamel paint on metal.

Here's the artists' explanation of the upcoming show: "Today, endless self-portraiture in the form of 'selfies' - each one following conventions resulting ultimately in images which are similar in appearance - makes it clearer than ever that a self-portrait does not reveal the 'true nature of one's inner self'. A self-portrait will always be a reflection of how one sees one's self and wants to stage one's appearance in relation to the surrounding world. It is a response to the projections put upon one from other people, as well as one's urge to project a fuller, richer image of one's self. But in order to obtain this, one is dependent on using signs and codes with connotations that are common, or else they will not be able to recognise the attempted image of one's self." But will there be labels for the labels?

Exhibition runs 13 October - 7 November 2015


elmgreen and dragset
victoria miro