Elmgreen & Dragset and Goksøyr & Martens at the Liverpool Biennial 2012

Published 2012/09/12

Goksøyr & Martens, Palestinian Embassy, Oslo, 2009. Courtesy of the artists


Elmgreen & Dragset within ‘The Unexpected Guest’
Venue: Thomas Steers Way, Liverpool ONE

Goksøyr & Martens within ‘City States’
14–16 September, 16:30–17:30
Venue: Palm House, Sefton Park

Artistic DirectorSally Tallant
Biennale Period: 15 September–25 November 2012
Professional Preview: 13–14 September 2012

According to artistic director Sally Tallant, the Liverpool Biennial unfolds through a programme of exhibitions and projects that ‘lead to a rediscovery of the city’. Newly commissioned and existing artworks and projects are presented in diverse locations, including ‘unusual and unexpected’ public spaces as well as the city’s galleries, museums and cultural venues. As part of the programme ‘The Unexpected Guest’, Elmgreen & Dragset will present But I’m on the Guest List Too! (2012), which will be on view inside the shopping complex Liverpool ONE. Commissioned especially for the biennial, curator Lorenzo Fusi states that the work is ‘a challenge to socio-political conventions, deconstructing and reassembling power structures with a playful twist. Popular culture and social behaviour are questioned by the examination of the hierarchy of values and meritocracy established by celebrity-culture. The artists’ oversized V.I.P. door – slightly ajar – is guarded by a bouncer. It invites the viewer in but cannot be opened fully, blurring the line between welcome and exclusion’.

Part of the event 'City States', Goksøyr & Martens will present the performance Palestinian Embassy during the three opening days in Sefton Park, Liverpool. The event includes the inauguration of a 'Palestinian Embassy' and balloon trips over the city. Departing from the city centre, politicians and academics will join the 'Palestinian Ambassador' aboard the balloon for discussions on topics concerning the Palestinian peoples diplomatic and democratic conditions. The discussions are led by a British moderator and transferred directly to the ground where the audience can listen live. Palestinian Embassy will also be part of the 'City States' exhibition at the LJMU Cooperas Hill Building, Liverpool from 14 to 25 November. Palestinian Embassy is curated and produced by Kristine Jærn Pilgaard.

For press enquiries and more information on this exhibition, please contact Antony Pickthall, Head of Marketing & Communications, Liverpool Biennial.

Elmgreen and Dragset is a duo composed by Michael Elmgreen (b.1961 in Copenhagen, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (b.1968 in Trondheim, Norway). They have been working together in London, UK and Berlin, Germany since 1995. Presentations of their work include The Fourth Plinth, Powerless Structures, Fig 101, Trafalgar Square, London, UK (2012-13); Celebrity: The One and the Many, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2011) and Happy Days in the Art World, Performa 11, New York, USA, (2011). In 2009 Elmgreen & Dragset curated the international exhibition within the Nordic and Danish pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, Italy.

Goksøyr & Martens is a performance project established in 1997 by Toril Goksøyr (b.1970) and Camilla Martens (b.1969). Their practice represents an exchange between the political and the art fields where documentary strategies and authentic elements are connecting theatre to reality. Goksøyr & Martens have presented their work at Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo, Norway; The National Theatre, Oslo; Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa; Festival D’Avignon, France; F.I.N.D Schaubühne Berlin, Germany; Art Saloon Belgrade, Serbia and La Biennale di Venezia.

OCA Support
Elmgreen & Dragset and Goksøyr & Martens’s participation in the Liverpool Biennial 2012 is supported by OCA's International Support Programme.