Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 by Elmgreen & Dragset
In this portrayal of a boy astride his rocking horse, a child has been elevated to the status of a historical hero, though there is not yet a history to commemorate – only a future to hope for. Elmgreen & Dragset’s work proposes a paraphrase of a traditional war monument beyond a dualistic worldview predicated on either victory or defeat. Instead of acknowledging the heroism of the powerful, Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 celebrates the heroism of growing up. It is a visual statement celebrating expectation and change rather than glorifying the past.
Based in London and Berlin, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have worked together as an artist duo since the mid-1990s. Their work explores issues relating to contemporary modes of living and investigates how these are reflected in both the everyday designs that surround us and in our urban landscapes.
Major exhibitions include The Collectors at The Nordic and Danish Pavilions for the 53rd Venice Biennial in 2009, a survey show at MUSAC in León, Spain (2009), solo shows at Serpentine Gallery (2006) and Tate Modern in London (2004); The Power Plant in Toronto (2006); Malmö Konsthall (2007); Portikus, Frankfurt (2003) and Kunsthalle Zürich (2001).
They recently exhibited at the New Décor at the Hayward Gallery on London's South Bank, and also took part in the 3rd Singapore Biennial in 2011.