A Floating Room and Broken Architecture: The Work of Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset

Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset

[Social Mobility (Staircase) – image via Galleri Nicolai Wallner]

Suspended from two black balloons, a sparse white room floats to the top of a repurposed Berlin train station. I’ve been haunted by this image—or rather the resulting imagined implications of it—since a trip to Berlin almost 5 years ago. It was, of course, an art installation in the German Capital’s Hamburger Bahnoff, by an artist whose name has eluded me until today. Via Le Territoire Des Sens, I’ve learned that the work, Elevated Gallery / Powerless Structures, Fig. 146, was created by Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset. The artists install broken, sliced, and decaying elements of architecture in gallery spaces, creating effects that range—at least on an emotional and experiential level— from wonder to sorrow. Whether they be slices of apocryphal prisons, decaying stairwells (see above), or floating rooms, their pieces give the impression that they belong in the Ancient Civilizations Wing of some far-future museum — like a Post-apocalyptic Pergamonaltar from Berlin’s Altes Museum. Mysterious remains of washed-out minimalism that give few clues to a society we know so little about. Continue reading for more photos — including the wondrous floating room.


[original image taken in Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof]


[Powerless Structures (Prison breaking) – image via Galleri Nicolai Wallner]


[Powerless Structures, Fig. 150 (Tilted wall) – image via Galleri Nicolai Wallner]

&#183 Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset [Le Territoire Des Sens]
&#183 See also: Erwin Wurm [Life Without Buildings]

2 replies on “A Floating Room and Broken Architecture: The Work of Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset”

K, so the work is like a minimal, European Matta-Clark? Floating ruins in an alien context?

The horizontal doorway is my favorite. Is that a light switch on the right side of the door?

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