Elmgreen & Dragset
Elmgren & Dragset

Elmgren & Dragseth: The Welfare Show.  © Bergen Kunsthall
Elmgren & Dragseth: The Welfare Show. © Bergen Kunsthall

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Since 1997 Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have collaborated on Powerless Structures, a series where they investigate conformity in public spaces like museums, prisons, social security offices, hospitals and parks. In particular Powerless Structures has dealt with the social structures of the art space and how art is presented and experienced. Here ‘the white cubes’ are given the full treatment. For the Festival Exhibition in 2005 Elmgreen & Dragset wanted to sum up earlier themes in a wider context, with new works and installations – produced especially for the Bergen Kunsthall premises. Under the title The Welfare Show the artists commented on elements that can be associated with the so-called Norwegian welfare model. What in fact is this welfare state that people speak so warmly of? How liberal and socially responsible is it? Has it ever really existed? Is our whole political system now threatened by globalization and multinational forces?

The exhibition offered no answers and pointed no fingers. The same can be said of this publication, which was drawn up in connection with the exhibition and which features a range of different visual materials (both documentation from earlier exhibitions by Elmgreen and Dragset and related archive material), as well as a great diversity of textual contributions from writers, newspaper announcements and the artists’ own collection of documents. The catalogue offers rich and sometimes surprising insight into the artists’ unique and extremely multifaceted activities up to 2005.

Published by: Bergen Kunsthall, 2005
Editor: Ariane Beyn
Artists: Ingar Dragset, Michael Elmgreen
Texts: Anonymous, Ingo Niermann, Thorbjørn Hansen, Rebekka Ladewig, Tone Hansen, facsimile from the Economist, des. 2004, Elmgreen og DRagset, Ben Marcus, Friedrich Engels, Kojin Karanti, Danh Vo, Peter Scheiffele intervjuer Alex Demirovec, Nils Christie, Oskar Negt, Johan Olofsson, Lars Ramslie, Henrik Olesen, Tara Carreon, René Green/ freeagentmedia, Marc A. Miles, Edwin J. Feulner, Mary A. O´Grady, Lise Gundersen, Tony Fitzpatrick, Michael Cahill, Sean Snyder, Oliver Marchart, Zygmunt Bauman, Matthias v. Hartz, Anneli Anttonsen, Pervez Hoodbhoy intervjuer Noan Chomsky, Lise Isaksen, Jens Haaning, Kjartan Fløgstad, Megan Stern, Lynne Tillman, Various, motz, Carsten Juhl, Laura Horelli, Jan Künzler, Wolfgang Walter, Elisabeth Reichart, Gerd Pfister, Immanuel Wallerstein, Joel Gibb, Hans Ulrich Obrist intervjuer Howard Becker, Karl Holmqvist, Julian Le Grand, Jan-Kåre Breivik, Stein Rokkan, Zoran Terzic, Dag Solstad, Øystein Nilsen, Jacques Rancière, Uffe Juul Jensen, Jakob Kolding, Desmond Morris, Marjetica Potrc, Gavin Wade, Allan Pred, Ben Marcus, Torben Pedersen, Olaf Apel, Michael Majerus, Matias Faldbakken, Steinar Stjerne, Kristin Ross, Pierre Bourdieu, Margareta Steinrücke, Nina Möntmann, Olof Olsson, Magnus Ryner, Lisa Philipps, Annika Berg, Eise Frederiksen, Sprachkritische Aktion Unwort des Jahres, Ilana F. Silber, Nan Mellinger, Andreas Koch, RAXEN National Focal Points Reports
ISBN: 3-88375-967-8
Hardcover: 29 × 32 cm

The Welfare Show, Festival Exhibition 2005