Political Art

A European Rift

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A modernist dream broken. Source: Kunstmuseen Krefeld

A Jaguar with UK registration plates is parked in front of a boxy, brick-clad mansion block, packed for moving day. The owner is perhaps out of practice driving on the right – the left wing mirror is shattered and glued. On the back seat, a bag of souvenirs from Harrods. An estate agent’s sign on the front lawn declares the property “SOLD.”

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s Brexit escapee installation at Krefeld’s contemporary art museum is called “The New Arrivals.” It puts moving and relocation at the center of an exploration of Europe’s current identity crisis, and the Scandinavian duo have transformed the museum into an imagined Brexit refugee center.

Elmgreen & Dragset are known for playing shrewd games that rely on context for effect, like their mock Prada boutique in the desert of Marfa, Texas that has provoked a continuous stream of vandalism.

Later this year, the duo will curate the the Istanbul Biennial in Turkey under the title “A good neighbor,” which will again address notions of home in an uncertain world.

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