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For their first presentation at MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique in Paris, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset subvert the exhibition space by creating apsychologically charged tension between the viewer and the work on display. 

Produced specifically for MASSIMODECARLO’s rue de Turenne spaceStand By Me is a life-size marble statue of a young boy leaning his hands against the gallery’s clear street-facing window. 

Gazing out towards the busy street, the small boy’s placid, ambiguous presence rouses curiosity. Why is he standing there? What is he watching: could it be the passers-by outside or an event that has just taken place, which we were not privy to? It is not clear if he is content or if we are looking at a young boy longing for something beyond his reach.

Enticed into an ambiguous freeze-frame, viewers are invited to contemplate the boy’s own interior world as well as his situation, caught between public and private spheres, in a place of solitude. Whilst we consider how to identify with this child, his motionless, white Carrara marble figure reminds us of his artificiality. Like a mirage glimpsed from outside the windowpane, Stand By Me has an almost ghost-like quality that seems to both communicate with us and disregard us all at once... 

This presentation at MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique is organized in the lead-up to Elmgreen & Dragset’s much anticipated exhibition « Useless bodies? » that will open at Fondazione Prada on March 31st in Milan. We acknowledge Perrotin and MASSIMODECARLO in this presentation.

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Elmgreen & Dragset

Statuary marble
144.6 × 67.2 × 42.5 cm / 57 × 26 1/2 × 16 4/5 inches