White Elephant (Wall), 2003

Sculpture, 40 x 60 x 70 cm
Rita McBride is known for her Post-minimalist sculptures closely related to industrial production and modern architecture. McBride, however, is not only a producer of objects, but also is interested in the situations which derive from them, be they performative or textual. The artist takes elements from the urban landscape to question them by altering their dimensions, colours and materials, and bringing them into the artificial space of museums, so that pipework and ventilation ducts take on a new artistic condition. In Servants and Slaves (Domestic), the spaces and elements which serve the city (drains, kitchens, garages) remind us of the role which class struggle has played in industrialisation. And in White Elephant (Wall), she converts a part of an air-conditioning system which is normally situated on the city’s roofs into a luminous and non-polluting object. Its title comes from the expression used in English when an object is useless or a cause is lost; the expression’s origins lie in a myth about the birth of Buddha.

Technical details

Original title:
White Elephant (Wall)
Registration number:
McBride, Rita
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Copper and steel
40 x 60 x 70 cm (height x width x depth)
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Gift of Brenda R. Potter
© Rita McBride, VEGAP, Barcelona
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The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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