ELMGREEN & DRAGSET BITE OUR TONGUE
“This Is How We Bite Our Tongue”, the exhibition that Elmgreen & Dragset have tailored for the Whitechapel Gallery, is something quite unique. As we enter the space, we can barely recognise the usual space, transformed in an abandoned summer swimming pool with its own (fake) history. It’s a device to bring up nostalgia - and it perfectly works. Scattered around the room there are other works, that not only enhance further the longing for something gone, but at the same time introduce us to some of the themes dear to the duo, themes that we will encounter again once we move on the upper floor: identity, duality, interpretation of an icon, shift of meaning of an object in relation to space, interaction with the art. In an almost empty room where the self-portrait of the artists is materialised into the names of the artists and works that have influenced their career, you can find a table with a bottle of whisky, a glass and a diary. The viewer is invited to sit down and enjoy the glass and isolate himself from the rest and immerse into the reading of the book in the light of an intimate lamp. Finally, the last room shows some of the most important works of the duo. Black and white are dominant, and so are the materials, in a sort of temple where the artists interrogate themselves about which kind of gods we worship in our present time.