Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, the famous art duo, are renowned for art work that has wit and subversive humour, so it should be of little suprise that the artists next project will create a pretend art fair within a museum. Beijing’s Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art will host a retrospective of their work, but set within art fair-style booths.
Houston-based artist Mark Flood staged a similar work, the “Insider Art Fair” in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood in 2014. But Elmgreen & Dragset’s critique has an additional edge, set within a non-profit institution instead of the former Dia building, which regularly hosted art fairs such as the Outsider Art Fair and Independent, and was the location Of Mark Flood’s piece.
The Scandinavian artist duo’s fictitious art fair highlights museums increasingly dependent on funding from galleries to support their exhibitions, and on shows that will be a hit at the box office. “A lot of the critique of art fairs is obvious and banal,” Elmgreen told the Art Newspaper, which also reports that the new exhibition will take place January 23 to April 17, 2016.
About the artists:
Based in London and Berlin, Michael Elmgreen (b. 1961, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (b. 1969, Norway) have worked as a collaborative duo since the mid 1990’s. Well-known for siting a Prada boutique in a Texan desert in 2005, the artists have been commissioned to create a number of sculptures internationally within the public realm: A Greater Perspective, 2015, an oversized and non-functional bronze telescope, is installed on New York’s High Line until March 2016, simultaneously drawing attention to and disrupting a secret view of the Statue of Liberty; HAN, a contemporary revisioning of the Danish national icon The Little Mermaid, was installed permanently at Kulturevaerftet Helsingør, Denmark in 2012; Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, the winning proposal for the Fourth Plinth Commission selected by the City of London, was on view in London’s Trafalgar Square from 2012 – 2013; and in 2012 the artists were commissioned by the Munich city council to create and curate a programme of installations across Munich’s main squares. The resulting a year-long artistic project, A Space Called Public / Hoffentlich Öffentlich, included the artists’ own work as well as the work of a number of other contemporary artists.
Photo Paul Carter Robinson © artlyst 2015