The swimming pool isn’t a new motif in the work of Scandinavian art duo Elmgreen & Dragset. From a diving board sticking out of a window at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in 1997 to a silicone mannequin floating face down at the 2009 Venice Biennale or, more recently, a deserted public pool at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, the artists’ fascination for all things aquatics has been a driving force across their multi-faceted, witty oeuvre.
This time, the subversive pair take to Miami Beach with an ambitious installation erected outside of the Convention Center, seasonal home to Art Basel Miami Beach. Titled Bent Pool, the 20ft tall curved swimming pool draws on minimalism’s geometric forms as much as on pop art and conceptualism’s use of readymade objects and imagery. But it also pays homage to the city’s architectural tradition, while providing a commentary on luxury in the age of climate change. ‘Swimming pools are woven into the very fabric of Miami Beach,’ Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset said of their site-specific work, ‘what they represent is actually something in danger of becoming frivolous, rather than remaining iconic.’
Image: Elmgreen & Dragset, Bent Pool, 2019
Photography: Mike Butler