Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Elmgreen & Dragset - 53rd Venice BiennaleWhile oppression and bloodshed always get attention, visitors seemed to be just as interested in a good laugh. Lines snaked outside the Danish and Nordic pavilions — two side-by-side houses — to see “The Collectors,” an installation organized by the Berlin-based team of Elmgreen & Dragset, who created a fictional narrative of a dysfunctional family and their neighbor, a gay man (an installation on the wall includes swimming trunks of his former lovers), whose dead body can be seen floating face down in a swimming pool. As part of the play-acting, the homes are for sale, and a tour by agents of Vigilante Exclusive Real Estate reveal the family’s haunted house, which has a broken staircase; a dining room featuring a split down the middle of the table; and a teenager’s room with an axe on a pulley that rises and falls as the door opens and closes. The dead man’s house reveals pages of a pornographic novel he was writing before his untimely death. Throughout both homes are examples of 20 artist and designer works, everything from paintings and sculptures to furniture and bathroom fixtures. - Carol Vogel, NY Times

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