Elmgreen & Dragset have installed a new work on the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center. Elmgreen & Dragset have carefully designed and crafted each detail of Van Gogh’s Ear to mimic a garden pool. Re-positioned in a pedestrian plaza surrounded by the busy life of tourists, skyscrapers, and businesses, the pool stands out as a surreal object uprooted from its usual environment and continues Marcel Duchamp’s philosophy. The sculptural elements of the pool itself—from the curves created by the different depths and its overall shape, to the protruding diving board—become apparent when it is singularly presented vertically and above ground.
“The title Van Gogh’s Ear plays on the mythological versus the ordinary. We thought it was a perfect name for a swimming pool of this shape. It opens up the possibility for a different perception of the form itself. And like the myth of Van Gogh cutting off his ear in despair, the dislocated pool will hopefully make people wonder ‘why?’, and pursue their own reasoning behind this inexplicable scenario,” said Elmgreen & Dragset.