On 16 May, Short Story, Elmgreen & Dragset‘s first solo exhibition at the König Gallery in Berlin, opened. The exhibition is composed of a single immersive work, realized inside the central nave of the gallery and consists of a few elements.
The first thing we meet upon entering the huge room is an elderly man sitting in a wheelchair. He is standing still as if he were sleeping and we shouldn’t disturb him. A little further on, there is an almost life-size reproduction of a tennis court with the typical brick red ground and white court lines, as if it were a projection of the human mind. In one half of the court, there is a young boy holding a cup and giving his back to his opponent, in the other half of the court, who is lying on the ground, perhaps from fatigue, who has dropped both the racket and the ball next to him. All three statues were made of marble and then painted white, a color that shines under the headlights pointing exactly in their direction.
As with all their works, with Short Story, Elmgreen & Dragset want us to reflect on different themes. Obviously the tennis court refers to the world of sports competitions, and the exact moment represented by the two artists seems to want to remind us that there is always a winner and a loser. But only in the game? Or even in life?
Even the choice of this particular sport seems to want to tell us something that goes beyond what we see. Tennis has always been seen as a sport for the more affluent classes and perhaps Elmgreen & Dragset’s intention is to represent a perpetually competing society, where there is no teamwork because everyone competes for themselves and where you live on the same court, but without ever touching each other. Obviously the two artists did not want to reveal too much of their work, leaving visitors, who will have the opportunity to walk and walk around the field, the freedom to read and interpret Short Story in a very personal way.
To date, visits to the König Gallery in Berlin are open but limited, but if you are curious to visit it anyway, the gallery has created a virtual tour in 3D available to everyone.