Tomorrow – Elmgreen & Dragset at the V&A In partnership with AlixPartners
1 October 2013 – 2 January 2014
The V&A has commissioned a major site-specific installation over five galleries by leading contemporary artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. Opening in October 2013, Tomorrow will transform the V&A’s former textile galleries into an apartment belonging to a fictional, elderly and disillusioned architect.
The installation will feature over 100 objects from the V&A’s collections, which will sit alongside works by the artists, as well as items sourced from antique markets. The juxtaposition of objects, which will be arranged as a grand domestic interior, will create ambiguity and raise questions about cultural heritage.
Elmgreen & Dragset’s exhibition Tomorrow will appear like a set for an unrealised film. To accompany it, the artists have written a script, which will be available to visitors as a printed book. The drama centres on a retired architect who had great vision but very little success in his professional life. In his twilight years, and with the family fortune long gone, he is forced to sell his inherited home and all his possessions. The script comments on issues of ageing, disappointment and alienation in today’s society.
Within the domestic setting, visitors will act as uninvited guests, able to curl up in the architect’s bed, recline on his sofa, or rifle through books placed by the artists to hint at the imagined events that could have taken place here.
Tomorrow will examine interests that have abided throughout the artists’ careers – those of redefining the way in which art is presented and experienced, issues around social models and how spaces and objects both inflict on and reflect our behavioural patterns.
“The story is all based around the insanity of the real estate market in Britain, as well as the V&A as a symptom of this European heritage we are stuck in, which somehow makes us incapable of competing with the new world,” says Elmgreen. “We stand here paralysed, fascinated by the speed of development in places like China, but unable to know what to do. This man is somehow a mixture of all our fears and anxieties.”