Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset
Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset b. 1961 in Copenhagen (DK) b. 1969 in Trondheim (NO) Live and work in Berlin. Since the mid 1990s Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset have been key coordinates on the map of performative institutional critique – not only a critique of the art institution, but of cultural and social structures that have become so powerful that they start to control our thoughts and behaviour. The duo has a unique view of democratic thinking, transitory identities, inquiring genders and the power of sexuality. Critically questioning society and our relationships to each other, their works are an unceremonious mix of art, architecture and design that brings art off the pedestal and into direct confrontation with the viewer. The artists’ works are primarily large scale, often including entire spaces, buildings or environments where the familiar is inserted in new contexts, forcing us to question our ideas and where they come from. The medium and format are always subordinate to content, but two elements recur in their works: a sharp critique of power and a marked performative drive where either we or the work – and most often both – are involved in an often complex, playful game.