IN 1995 MICHAEL ELMGREEN & ING...In 1995 Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset began their collaboration on what has since become a wide range of installations, performances and environmental works. In a series of projects entitled "Powerless Structures" the artist duo challenges the conventional perception of space : Architectural and social structures are reorganised in order to investigate the underlying desires of everyday objects and the mechanisms of ideolo-gical control in even the simple arrangements of walls, ceilings, entrances and exits. The works from this series deal with the issue of altering spatial conditions within various fields of the public realm : the urban landscape as well as the art institutional architecture.
The projects often provide a possibility of actual change: a change of social structures in smaller scale; alterations of Modernistic design or projects which accentuate the options for alternative ways of presenting art within the museum or gallery. The emphasis is put on the deconstruc-tion and reconstruction of meaning in predetermined or institutionalised spaces.
In the British magazine Frieze the art critic Lars Bang Larsen wrote: "Space in Elmgreen & Dragset's work doesn't announce itself, it has to be brought out, challenged by the mundane presence of the activities that frame it; it begs you to perform. Rather: It makes you perform, because it analogises several types of behaviour" (Frieze, issue 53, 2000, p.102). This performative layer is sometimes made obvious in a direct, interactive way – or the performative can be displayed in the form of a denial in which the very significance of function is discussed, as the art work encourages and denies the spectator to interfere with it simultaneously.