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David Shrigley

A 12 meter high inflatable white swan floats on the water in front of the castle's grand entrance. The swan has no beak and an untroubled blank expression, two black dots as eyes and a black line as a mouth. The swan's neck is shaped like an middle finger and goes straight up towards the sky, and the body has two folded wings on either side.

A 12-metre-tall inflatable swan raises and lowers its neck. The swan has a blank, nonchalant expression and no beak. This repetitive movement, the stationary body and the vacant facial expression testify that there is something wrong with this swan, that it’s not quite like other swans. The comparison with a phallus, alternatively flaccid and erect, cannot be ignored.

The Swan Thing concept has been commercialized and is sold, including in the artist’s own shop, as a bath toy, a stress ball, a snow globe and a key ring. On the back of the swan souvenir packaging is a challenge: ‘Are you sure you want to buy this rubbish?’, which is typical of Shrigley’s art, in which everyday activities become satire.

Artwork: Swan Thing

Artist: David Shrigley

Number on the map:

Material: Textile

Location: In Svartån by Örebro castle

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