PREVIEW:Elmgreen & Dragset: This Is How We Bite Our Tongue, Whitechapel Gallery

The Whitechapel Gallery’s upcoming exhibition is the first major overview of artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset. 

 Elmgreen & Dragset, One Day, 2015, Image Courtesy María José Jove Fundación, Photography by  Holger Honck. 

On display from the 27th September, this exhibition will bring together a large-scale site-specific installation with six new sculptures and 29 works created over 20 years of the artists’ collaboration.

Having worked together since 1995, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset are known for exploring social and sexual politics and unveil the power structures embedded in the everyday through their work.

This latest exhibition of their work will feature an immersive new installation that relates to the gentrification of London’s East End and points to a loss of faith in public space in an era of austerity, transforming the bottom floor of the gallery.

Talking about the exhibition Elmgreen & Dragset said: “This is How We Bite Our Tongue is an exhibition about emotions held inside, not said out loud. It is about withdrawal and resignation, about absence and impermanence, the feeling of loss, of losing agency as well as community. But it is also about reconciliation and resilience.”

One of the galleries is dedicated to self-portraits –   monumental labels carved in marble or painted on canvas – that pay tribute to works of art that have inspired the artists and shaped their identity. Their tributes to artists ranging from Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) to Mark Morrisroe (1959-1989) are accompanied by a desk complete with a diary and a bottle of whiskey.

Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, said “Having sited a monumental boy on a rocking horse among the admirals of Trafalgar Square, revealed a failed modernist architect’s flat inside the V&A and perched a vulture in the trees of Regent’s Park, Elmgreen & Dragset will make visible the disappearance of civic space while also offering an overview of two decades of their uncanny sculpture.”

Elmgreen & Dragset: This Is How We Bite Our Tongue will be on display at the Whitechapel Gallery from the 27th September until the 13th January. For more information visit:

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