For the 53rd Venice Biennale, the Danish and Nordic Pavilions host “The Collectors”, an exhibition curated and staged by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset. With contributions from twenty-four international artists, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset transform the Danish and Nordic Pavilions into domestic environments, and invite the audience to be guests in them.
In Elmgreen & Dragset’s exhibition concept, the Danish Pavilion in the Giardini in Venice is for sale. The public is guided on a tour by a Vigilante real estate agent through a “For Sale” Danish Pavilion, and is told the story of the family dramas that used to haunt the house. This video is an excerpt of such a tour we attended on June 4, 2009. The full-length version (15:55 Min.) is available below.
The artists and designers included in the exhibition are: Thora Dolven Balke, Massimo Bartolini, Hernan Bas, Guillaume Bijl, Maurizio Cattelan, Elmgreen & Dragset, Pepe Espaliíº, Tom of Finland, Simon Fujiwara, Han & Him, Laura Horelli, Martin Jacobson, William E. Jones, Terence Koh, Jani Leinonen, Klara Lidén, Jonathan Monk, Nico Muhly, Norway Says, Henrik Olesen, Nina Saunders, Vibeke Slyngstad, Sturtevant and Wolfgang Tillmans. Other features Fredrik Sjöberg’s Fly Collection, Massimo De Carlo’s Porcelain Collection, Collected Etnographica, Real Estate Agents performed by Helen Statman & Trevor Stuart.
The Collectors is not a group show in the conventional sense. The pavilions will undergo a radical reconstruction, and more than twenty artists and designers of all ages, ranging from established to emerging ones, will contribute to creating a different kind of exhibition format, one that will appear closer to a film set than a conventional art display. The curators aim to establish a unique atmosphere of intimacy with their staged exhibition ‐ one that can run counter to the official spectacle and formal nature of the Biennale – and, in close collaboration with the participating artists and designers, they hope to circumvent all the usual competitive aspects of the larger art event.
The Collectors. Curated by Elmgreen & Dragset. Danish Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennial 2009. La Biennale di Venezia 2009: Fare Mondi (Making Worlds). Professional Preview, June 4, 2009.
> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.
Elmgreen & Dragset: Danish Pavilion Tour, Venice Biennale 2009. Complete Tour (15:55 Min.):