dinsdag, september 30, 2014
Home and studio. (bron en foto's: Thorsten Klapsch)
Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset in their Berlin studio. (bron: Black&Iffel, foto: Giorgio Possenti)
“Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset are artists who have exhibited from New York to Tokyo. But for the last 12 years, the globe-trotting artistic duo, collaborators since 1995, have lived in Berlin. And at a certain point, they decided it was time to buy.
“We were never particularly interested in property investment,” said Mr. Dragset, who is from Norway (Mr. Elmgreen is from Denmark).
The two men, once a couple but now just artistic partners, originally moved to Berlin because it was near Copenhagen, where they had lived, and because it seemed full of energy as well as inexpensive. But after a decade in Berlin, Mr. Dragset said, “We were tired of fixing up spaces and having to leave them after a couple of years.”
And, he added, “both privately, and within our art practice, we love spatial challenges — so we were looking for somewhere we could apply the concepts we had been working with in our art.”
When they saw an advertisement for the old water-pumping station in a Berlin suburb, a working-class area called Neukölln, the pair’s creative antennae began to twitch. The former pumping station, surrounded by fully grown chestnut trees and flanked by apartment buildings on a residential street, had remained empty since the early 1990s because nobody knew quite what to do with such an oversize hall stuck in the middle of a non-industrial location.
“Almost too good to be true,” Mr. Dragset said. “Especially considering the price, which was ridiculously low compared to any other European capital.” He declined to specify but said it was similar to a typical two-bedroom apartment in Oslo, which is about $700,000. The renovations cost about the same as the purchase price."
There’s no clutter: just white walls, glacial light streaming in through old warehouse-style windows, trees silently waving at visitors from the outside and what feels like acres of floor space.
The building is now both home and studio space. Generally, the renovation materials have been inexpensive. Most of the floors are sanded asphalt covered in clear polyurethane that goes with the industrial nature of the building. On one hand, “it’s reminiscent of the building’s industrial history,” Mr. Wenk said. “On the other hand, it’s very economical.” In smaller rooms, the asphalt was sanded more finely, he explained, then tinted to reflect the personal nature of the rooms.
The farther up and back one goes, the more private the space becomes. The back boasts five levels, including two private areas for the artists, a kitchen, an attic living room and four bathrooms. And the renovated attic space is reminiscent of a playboy’s penthouse. In this upper section, a window in the roof slides back at the push of a button like something out of Dr. Evil’s lair.
“We deliberately made the borders between the work and living spaces fleeting,” Mr. Dragset said. “The combination of vast floor space and the small, quirky nooks means you can be very hidden here, or very exposed depending on your moods or needs.” (bron: Architecture Lab, tekst: Cathrin Schaer, foto's: Mark Simon)
"Elmgreen & Dragset’s productions are often associated with buildings, particularly structures into which we can peer, like voyeurs. Some are permanent, like Prada Marfa, 2005, the high-end fashion store they constructed in the Texas desert town, which Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation has turned into an art mecca. Most are transient, such as Death of a Collector, their installation within the group show they organized for the adjacent Danish and Nordic pavilions at the 2009 Venice Biennale, or the ammonium-scrubbed bureaucratic structure they created in London’s Serpentine Gallery for their 2006 exhibition “The Welfare Show;” or the prison-cell-cum-installation in which two characters, artists each, are locked in the play, Happy Days in the Art World, produced in New York for Performa 11 last fall. These environments not only establish a sense of illicit spectatorship, they also allow the artists to indulge their fascination with design and to expose the ways architecture reinforces power, all the while creating a mise-en-scène for their narratives. Still, none of these structures, not even the freestanding apartment block they constructed inside the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe for their show “Celebrity—The One & The Many” in 2010, can match the extravagance of their studio, in Berlin’s Neukölln borough.
A converted water-pumping station dating to 1924 that they bought from the city some six years ago, the boxy construction, with its tall, narrow windows emphasizing the height of the brick façade, looks like a modernist industrial cathedral dropped into a sleepy, residential district. One enters directly into the enormous main production room, where the windows zoom up like zips of light to the ceiling three stories above. Marbled green-and-black tiles running around the lower five feet of the perimeter reinforce how much the towering white walls dwarf you. A series of walkways and a long platform with a line of desks for clerical work stretch through the space high above the floor. Such is their concern for the comfort of their employees that the artists have rigged these platforms with cables and pulleys, allowing the people and their desks to shift position with the sun.
On the day I visit, the floor below looks more like a packing facility than a fabrication shop. Boxes and crates are piled against the walls and near a thick rectangular pillar. One slatted crate, stamped “artwork: handle with care,” is balanced on its smashed corner, from which Styrofoam peanuts spill out; the joke of course being that the crate is itself the work. A nearby bunk bed whose top bunk — mattress and pillow included — faces downward (and which I recognize as a prop from Happy Days in the Art World) reminds me that Elmgreen & Dragset’s pieces often feature doublings and mirrored images. One thinks, too, in this regard of the paired “houses” from “The Collectors” at the 2009 Venice Biennale. With a lampooning intent, such couplets frequently reflect the “real” world back at the art world, and vice versa. The studio itself was conceived as a place to merge art and life. “We don’t want to have these professional transitions between what is private and what is public,” says Dragset, gesturing to the large main space. “We use this as a showroom sometimes or for hanging out with the staff.” The irony, however — and with Elmgreen & Dragset there is usually the inflection of an arched brow — is that the studio isn’t really where their art is made." (bron: BlouinArtinfo, foto: Juliane Eirich)
> Elmgreen & Dragset
maandag, september 29, 2014
A pump fills the boot cast in epoxy resin and carbon fiber at regular intervals. The water comes out of the heel of the boot with a strong rebound and makes the boot swing as a free-floating pendulum over the pool of water. The fountain conceived by Roman Signer is located in front of the Kunstmuseum Solothurn." (bron: Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen)
> Roman Signer
"Silhouetten (für Ernst Mach), 1992/2005.
Patination with black linseed oil on an already existing casting."
Ohne Titel, Nach Man Ray, 2005.
Raetz creates objects and spatial stagings with great precision and often over long periods of time. The documentary film Markus Raetz by the Swiss filmmaker Iwan Schumacher provides insight into the artist’s creative process. The camera accompanied the creation of the work Ohne Titel: Nach Man Ray over two and a half years.
At first glance, this work consists of two barrel- or vase-shaped objects, which are synchronously connected by gear wheels in the plinth. What is essential is played out between the objects: the contours of a nude woman alternating dancingly from standing leg to free leg along with the rotating movement are created in the negative space. As a result of the weight of the barrels, the movement only slowly comes to a stop.
Markus Raetz first constructed, cut, and filed the objects as a model made with plates. This first model was molded in silicon and cast in pure gypsum plaster. The artist then worked on the plaster model exhaustively, which was then cast in iron by the Kunstgiesserei. The Kunstgiesserei produced three copies and one artist’s proof." (bron: Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen)
"Apple Tree Boy Apple Tree Girl, 2010.
Just as Paul McCarthy repeatedly uses Disney’s ideal, animated cartoon world as an embodiment of petit-bourgeois conformity and puritanical prudery in the United States as a basis for his work, Hummel figurines symbolizing country idyll also appear in a number of his works. The porcelain figurines, which were already being produced in Germany in 1935, are popular above all in the United States and have numerous collectors there.
For this work, a boy sitting under an apple tree and a girl from the range of Hummel figurines were scanned and enlarged many times. The milled individual pieces were put together with building foam and then modeled in clay again. In doing so, the traces of the process-based work and the provisional assembling were supposed to be retained. The works were later cast in aluminum at our location in Shanghai and the surfaces then sandblasted and waxed. From China, the two works went directly to Los Angeles to be exhibited at L&M Arts in 2011."
"Ship of Fools, 2010.
The process-oriented method of working on the model is reflected in the myriad tools, foam material, tracks of dogs and coins situated on the platform. All these small parts and micro-particles become components of the final bronze sculpture as a result of meticulous molding work. The reinforcing rods that penetrate the fissured figures both bear the entire weight as static elements as well as define the character of the sculpture in their rawness, and are partially cast of solid bronze. Paul McCarthy visited the Kunstgiesserei several times during the production process in order to make important decisions in cooperation with our workshop. This work will be shown in the L&M Arts Gallery in Los Angeles in the fall of 2010." (bron: Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen)