Elmgreen & Dragset “The Incidental Self”

Dates: Apr 22 – May 20, 2006

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our second exhibition with artist duo Elmgreen and Dragset.Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have been working together since 1995. They live and work in Berlin, where they moved in 1997.
Critiquing our way of life, our society and our museums from an aesthetic with references to minimalism and Scandinavian design, their installations have been seen in major museums in Europe, Japan and the USA. The artists have exhibited in Japan at the Mori Art Museum as well as CCA, Kitakyushu.

For their Taka Ishii Gallery exhibition, Elmgreen and Dragset will present a large shelving system that occupies most of the wall space with 500 smaller framed photographs of various gay cultural and everyday life situations on display. The display references the standard family photo set-up found in almost any home around the world, but is exaggerated both in terms of quantity and in its definition of “family”.

The white leather frames underline the importance of events that might seem insignificant and worthless at first, but can have an even bigger impact on ones life than a wedding or birthday celebration. In a clear reference to family portraits, Elmgreen & Dragset use this same type of frame yet change the content for a new type of life, based on friendship and affinity as opposed to family.

The installation works with a portrayal of a homosexual identity which has very little to do with the current societal debates on gay marriage and adoption rights. On the contrary, the installation highlights some more alternative and less “well behaved” modes of living which do not seek to obtain any rights or acceptance but rather claim their own identity as an alternative to mainstream culture.