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Show and Tell: Elmgreen & Dragset

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The High Line is no longer the only silent railway in the meatpacking district. Clamber down the basement steps of the Bohen Foundation, on West 13th Street, and you’ll be descending into End Station, a site-specific project by a pair of artists known as Elmgreen & Dragset. (Michael Elmgreen is from Denmark, Ingar Dragset from Norway; the two now live in Berlin). The team was inspired by the Foundation’s existing architecture, which includes sliding walls on tracks and a subway-style grate that can be removed to allow for double-height installations, as well as by memories of a year spent in New York. “When you’re away, you remember things a little bit different from what they actually are,” says Elmgreen. “The safety lines at the edge of the platform are normally yellow; here they’re white. It’s how we remember them.” Look closely, and you’ll notice garbage from distinct periods—a discarded Tab can, a newspaper dating from the beginning of the AIDS crisis, an anti-Giuliani sticker. Otherwise, it’s an impossibly Scandinavian vision of our subway system—the graffiti is neatly scripted, the pillars have a crisp coat of fresh paint, and there’s not a rat in sight. End Station does, however, share one problem with the MTA: You’ll be waiting forever for the next train. (At the Bohen Foundation through July 1.)


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