Various Artists

Elmgreen & Dragset: The Welfare Show


Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset's The Welfare Show is a multi-tiered installation and performance work that offers a provocative commentary on the erosion of social welfare programs throughout the world.

Curated by Reid Shier

Scandinavian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset are well known for their large-scale interventions into gallery architecture and its mechanisms of display. In an ongoing series entitled Powerless Structures (1997–), the artists have rebuilt and refashioned gallery interiors, offices and ancillary spaces. Elevated Gallery / Powerless Structures, Fig. 146 (2001), for example, is a gallery office suspended in mid-air by two large helium-filled balloons. Most recently, the artists opened a fully realized Prada boutique in the middle of the West Texas desert. Prada Marfa is a store with no entrance that has been stocked with Miucci Prada’s 2005 fall accessories. Following its inauguration in October 2005, the site has now been left to decay.
 
The Welfare Show is a multi-tiered installation and performance work that offers a provocative commentary on the erosion of social welfare programs throughout the world. The exhibition is produced by the Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, in collaboration with The Power Plant and the BAWAG Foundation, Vienna, Austria. It will be accompanied by an ambitious publication addressing the global changes in the relationships between states and citizens since the 1980s.
 
Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have collaborated since 1995, and live and work in Berlin. Their work has been featured in exhibitions around the globe, including at the Kunsthalle Zurich (2001) as well as in the 25th Bienal de São Paulo (2002) and the Kwangju Biennial, Korea (2002). They are the recipients of the prestigious 2002 Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst (National Gallery Prize for Recent Art) presented by the Hamburger Banhof, Berlin. The Welfare Show will be their first exhibition in Canada.

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