Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset

Picture: Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset

The Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted unter the National Socialist Regime was designed by the artist duo Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway), who have lived and worked together in Berlin since 1995.
According to Elmgreen & Dragset’s interpretation, a monument should have the character of a living organism subject to dynamic change rather than a static and final statement. The two artists have closely adapted their aesthetic conceptualisation to the monument’s immediate surroundings. For their sculptural rendition of the memorial, they have chosen to appropriate the formal language of the Holocaust Memorial directly opposite. In Elmgreen & Dragset’s version, however, the cubic sculptural shape of Eisenman’s stelae acquires an additional layer. Through a small square window in the cube, the spectator can see a film depicting two men embracing in an endless kiss. With its clear allusion to the monument on the other side of the street, the memorial seems to be saying, we are the same kind of human beings, yet we are also different from each other. And therein lies the challenge to our tolerance and acceptance.