Elmgreen & Dragset: The One & The Many
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The Submarine Wharf
Each year, in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen holds a spectacular exhibition in the former Submarine Wharf on the RDM site in the Rotterdam port area. In 2010, Atelier Van Lieshout set the ball rolling with the exhibition Infernopolis. This year the Scandinavian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset are exhibiting The One & The Many in the Submarine Wharf. The interview for this video was recorded in an improvised studio in the Submarine Wharf (see photo) and is projected there on a white wall; as if the duo are there, giving a lecture.
Elmgreen & Dragset
Michael Elmgreen (Copenhagen 1961) had been working for several years as visual artist when he met the actor Ingar Dragset (Trondheim 1968) in 1995. Since 1997, they have shared a studio in Berlin. Initially they mainly produced performances; later they added sculptures and complete architectural installations. Their work can be called alienating, in the sense that existing structures and patterns of expectation are disrupted in a capricious way. The duo is represented by Galeri Nicolai Wallner in Copenhagen.
The transformation from art hall to subway station took place in the Bohen Foundation in New York, 415 West 13th Street, in 2004. The title of the installation was: End Station.
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Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) was a Swedish theatre and film director who paid particular attention to the psychology of the individual. In his films, the individuals wrestle with major questions of life (guilt, atonement). The camera records them directly and seems, as it were, to creep into their psyche.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982) is a German director who managed to combine his cult status (enfant terrible, drugs, bisexuality) with producing an unparalleled number of film and television productions. When he was found dead at the age of 37, he had made 42 feature films, a television series in 38 episodes and 4 short films, had written 26 plays and had contributed to countless films and theatre pieces by other people. The television series Berlin Alexanderplatz is famous. The apparently average citizen Franz Biberkopf is able to fascinate the viewer for hours on end. The film Querelle, based on the book ‘Querelle de Brest’ by the French author Jean Genet, deals with loneliness and the attempt of young men to drive out their loneliness. The scene in a café with a singing Jeanne Moreau is famous.
In 2009, Elmgreen & Dragset represented Denmark and Norway at the Venice Biennial. They decorated the two neighbouring pavilions as two villas in a suburb, where the furnishings of the houses and the (art) collections of the residents gave the visitors clues for a number of different story lines. The installation had the title: The Collectors.
The music for this video is taken from the CD Fremdkunst: B-beats and soundscapes by DJ Mace.
Video for the exhibitionThe One & The Many, Submarine Wharf Rotterdam, May 28 till September 25, 2011.
The Submarine Wharf is located in Rotterdam’s port area and is a barren spot. The warehouse may be covered, but it feels like it’s outside, is the opinion of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. That is why the Scandinavian artist duo has built a complete residential block, including a square with trees and street furniture. The staging of this reality is completed by the presence of several residents and the exhibition visitor as an accidental passerby. Who is the loner and where are the masses? In this video, Elmgreen & Dragset talk about their installation and explain how The One & The Many relates to the rest of their oeuvre.
Regie: Jetse Batelaan; productie & research Els Hoek; interview Nicolette Gast; camera Stijn van Santen; editing Caroline Hoeberechts; soundmix Michel van Schie.