Elmgreen & Dragset: The New “It’s Not What You Think” Exhibition

Roberto Ruiz Blueproject 103

If you are a fan of Elmgreen & Dragset, you already know that they always try to alter art spaces. And this time, with their new exhibition “It’s Not What You Think”, they have done it again. 

The new “It’s Not What You Think” exhibition is open at the Blueproject Foundation in Barcelona and will be shown up until October 27, 2019.

This time, Elmgreen & Dragset decided to turn this usually white space into a makeshift boiler room with coloured pipes. To see the entire exhibition, visitors are invited to go under, around, and over the different pipes to get a good view of the space. According to Elmgreen & Dragset, the different coloured pipes were displayed to represent the human body and its functions, both biological and cultural. 

In the “It’s Not What You Think” exhibition, the artist duo use tones of yellow, blue and pink were used by the artists to reflect the colour of some HIV pills such as Isentress, Stribild, Atripla, and Truvada. These colours are juxtaposed with the grey of the other pipes as a reference to the toxicity or side-effects of the medicines.

One of the added elements of interest is that the exhibition extends outside the gallery itself. The way Elmgreen & Dragset have managed to display the tubes make them appear to be supporting the columns or penetrating the walls and floor.

The main idea of the duo artists is that nothing is what appears to be at first glance. Like pills, for example. They are small, often rounded, and colourful in appearance. They almost seem like sweets. Compared to the grey tubes, that can easily be associated to their main purposes of heating, steam, and drainage.

This exhibition is audacious, real, and will leave you thinking. 

Photography by Roberto Ruiz

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