Elmgreen & Dragset - Contemporary Art Evening London Thursday, February 11, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Klosterfelde, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    The thought provoking, large-scale, conceptual oeuvre of Scandinavian artistic duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset is a clever, subversive and humorous pastiche of the human socio-political condition. Their Powerless Structures constitute an ongoing series of installations and performances in which the two artists examine space with its manifold possibilities of meaning and functions. The question of constructing meaning in private and public or institutional space and its sexual connotation is fundamental for Elmgreen and Dragset’s works. By transferring spaces to other contexts of meaning, but also via targeted interventions in the way a space functions, Elmgreen and Dragset time and again succeed in shaking off the customary meanings of a space and thus creating room for new and different interpretations.
    The present lot, Powerless Structures, Fig. 255, is an outdoor sculptural installation comprising an illuminated glass vitrine in which two face away from each other, a clear reference to Marcel Duchamp’s notorious Fountain (1917). In continental Europe it is not uncommon urinals in the street for public use; however, in a witty twist, Elmgreen Dragset have captured the absurdity of two males relieving themselves full public view. Visually and thematically building upon the consequential oeuvre of the American artist Robert Gober, who produced a celebrated body of work dealing with the sexual connotations and implications drain, Elmgreen and Dragset similarly use familiar, apparently innocuous objects, to masterfully uncover the uncanny in the everyday.


Powerless Structures, Fig. 255

Painted steel, glass, tiles, pissoirs, fluorescent light tube.

230 × 150 × 260 cm (90 1/2 × 59 × 102 1/2 in).
This work is from an edition of three and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artists.

£30,000 - 40,000 Ω ♠

Sold for £31,250

Contemporary Art Evening

12 Feb 2010