Elmgreen & Dragset - Under the Influence New York Friday, March 8, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s incorporation of architecture and objects that they describe as powerless structures have made this quirky artistic duo a fascinating pair to follow throughout their careers together. Their thought provoking works and massive installs blend together the categories of art, architecture and design. Such clever installations by the artists redefine spaces and their initial functions, allowing and intending for numerous new possibilities of definition and meaning. Much of their artistic approach is based on the philosopher Foucault's thesis, describing the acceptance of certain behavioral patterns within given structures, and not the structures themselves, that determine human action and activity in society. Based on this theory, Elmgreen and Dragset transfer the meaning of objects and spaces by re-contextualizing the familiar and creating alternative behavior patterns.
    The present lot, Pharmacy, 2003, is a strong example of the duo’s masterful creativity in assigning new definition to the familiar. The work depicts a typical pharmacy, with the letters “HARM” illuminated within the signage. By extracting this powerful word within a mundane word, Elmgreen and Dragset force the viewer to consider the structure of the pharmacy in a completely different way. A new context for this every day space is immediately unleashed, and the viewer automatically sees harm in a once harmless situation.



aluminum, steel, Plexiglas, plywood, fabric, and fluorescent lights
120 x 132 x 20 in. (304.8 x 335.3 x 50.8 cm)
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $40,000

Under the Influence

8 March 2013
New York