In 2011 Outset supported Happy Days in the Art World, a performance by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset. The artists Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset) presented a theatrical performance titled Happy Days in the Art World, a darkly comic self-portrait of the two artists, drawing references from Samuel Beckett’s play Happy Days (1961).
The play tells the story of two main characters, played by renowned actors Joseph Fiennes and Charles Edwards, as well as actress Kim Criswell, and is directed by Toby Frow. The characters use a droll sensibility to unveil their personal history together, their experience of being a “single work of art,” and their fears about what will happen to their substantial art careers when they break up.
In the tradition of Beckett’s absurdist theater, the production took place on a traditional proscenium stage with minimal sets designed by the artists. Happy Days in the Art World featured a cameo by the artists themselves, and expanded on the artists’ ironic take on contemporary art and the art world’s intrigue with celebrity in general.
Based in Berlin and London, the artists Elmgreen & Dragset, Michael Elmgreen (b. 1961, Copenhagen, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (b. 1969, Trondeim, Norway), have worked together since 1995. Major solo exhibitions include The Nordic and Danish Pavilions, 53rd Venice Biennial (2009); MUSAC, León, Spain (2009); Serpentine Gallery, London (2006); The Power Plant, Toronto (2006); Prada Marfa, Marfa, Texas (2005); and MCA Chicago, Chicago (2005).
They have participated in the Venice Biennial (2009); Sao Paulo Biennial (2002); and Gwangju Biennial (2002); Istanbul Biennial (2001); and Manifesta 3 (2000), among others.
Accolades include the German Government’s competition for a memorial in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park, in memory of the gay victims of the Nazi regime (2008), and the Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2003).
Courtesy of Performa11