Scandinavian artists Elmgreen and Dragset’s new installation a 1950s-style swimming pool at the 5th avenue entrance of New York's Rockefeller Center, commissioned by the Public Art Fund, has one catch: It is standing upright.
Titled Van Gogh's Ear, the full-scale pool installation will find it self across from high-end department store Saks Fifth Avenue and will be on view April 13 - June 3. The pool will be fully equipped with all of the usual accessories; a stainless steel ladder, a diving board, and the traditional, cyan blue interior. It displaces an ordinary swimming pool but strips it of its functionality, intended to follow in the conceptual footsteps of Marcel Duchamp's Readymades.
The artists explained in a statement that “The sculpture recalls the 1950s-style pools found in front of some Californian private homes, in contrast to this very public East coast urban setting […] It is as if an alien spaceship had landed in the midst of this prominent and busy environment."
The Duo that has worked together since 1995 are often referred to as masters of mischief due to their notorious penchant for being playful. Van Gogh's Ear is not the first piece of public art they produce that has created headlines, among their repertoire we can find the Prada Marfa store, in the middle of nowhere Texas, and a crashed caravan “Short cut” in the middle of Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II from 2003.