Renegades Elmgreen & Dragset to Berlin

BERLIN 2011. A man lying face down in a swimming pool formed one of the disturbing narratives in the Nordic pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Meet the makers, activist artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, in Jannik Splidsboel's documentary "How Are You", selected for Panorama in Berlin.

HowAreYou
FACE DOWN. One of the captivating tableaus of "The Collectors", Elmgreen & Dragset's show at the Venice Biennale 2009. Photo: Bøje Lomholdt

The Berlin Film Festival has invited Jannik Splidsboel's feature-length documentary "How Are You", about artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, to the Panorama section. Working since the mid-90s under the brand name Elmgreen & Dragset with happenings, installations and other activist art practices, the Danish-Norwegian duo has drawn attention worldwide in questioning issues about sex, identity and power relations.

"How Are You" offers a comprehensive view of the duo's projects and collaboration over the years. The film spans from their first encounter in 1995 when the two of them hooked up both privately and professionally and knitted their first work, Instant Baby, to the opening of their exhibition "The Collectors" at the 2009 Venice Biennale, where visitors were invited as guests into a fictional home complete with a pricy art collection, bedroom, fireplace and a string of uncanny narratives unfolding throughout the homely setting.

The film is produced by Henrik Underbjerg and Stefan Frost for Radiator Film with a development subsidy from the Danish Film Institute.

Berlinale 10-20 February