Drama Queens - Interview -
Inanimate objects do you possess a soul?
Business partners since 1997, Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset form a most prolific artist duet, with the most impressive exhibitions and facilities track records. Their creations leave much room for humour.
As an example, the Prada Marfa project: a Prada store located in the Texan desert.
Sabine Morandini : Between Elmgreen and Dragset, who does what? How do you split the workload?
Elmgreen & Dragset:
We are both naturally lazy that's one of the reasons to collaborate.It helps to split the the work load between us but that means that we have to split our income into two,as well. However, most of the daily routines our studio manager and our assistants take of. We are not very practically minded. We come up with the concepts and ideas and we do the first shabby sketches. After working together for 15 years we have turned into some kind of two headed monster with one collective brain. We know what the other one thinks.
SM : Elmgreen, give us three adjectives to describe Dragset:
E : Calm, socially skilled, creative
SM : Dragset, give us three adjectives to describe Elmgreen:
D : Horny, impatient, highly intelligent
SM : How did you choice the 5 pieces for the Drama Queens show?
E&D : We wanted to include sculptures from various -isms and periods which would trigger a fun culture clash and show some diverse approaches to art.
SM : Can you tell us more about your teamwork with Tim Etchells..
E&D : We love Tim's sense of humor and the dialogues were written in a joyful flow - a process of ping-pong emailing - and within a very short period of time actually.
SM : Is irony amusing to you?
E&D : It can be a useful tool to tell something serious in an easy way.
SM : You have an impressive list of expos and shows, do you ever rest?
E&D : There are a lot of artists out there much busier than us, ha ha. We do exactly the number of projects that we are inspired to do - no less no more.
SM : Can you give us your definition of contemporary art?
E&D : No
SM : With the disappearance of oil, what type of element would you use?
E&D : Art is not about the choice of material. Besides oil painting is still very present. Painters are even in 2009 considered the most valuable artists on the art market, just take a look at auction prices. A painter can as well as an installation have interesting concepts or narratives. The medium in itself is not of interest today.
SM : Will you ever sculpt marble?
E&D : yes, we have plans.
SM : What are you most passionate about in your work?
E&D : The next project is always the most exciting one.
SM : What fascinates you?
E&D :The constant changes in our culture. It's fascinating to think about why people dream,desire, fear and behave the way they do. Our art works are more of questions than answers.
Sandra, Jan, Marie, Rafaella
Elmar Vestner, Roman Mensing
Drama Queens by Elmgreen & Dragset
Sculptures inspired by Barbara Hepworth’s Elegy III,
Sol Lewitt’s Four Cubes,
Hans Arp’s Cloud Shepherd,
Jeff Koons’ Rabbit,
Giacometti’s Walking Man.
Text by Tim Etchells.
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