Elmgreen & Dragset (collaborating since 1995) often take as their start point the blurred line that divides our public and private personas. Investigating how we shift, perform and build our identities depending on these varying contexts, the duo cleverly unpack intimate subjects such as gender, sexuality, relationships, the balance of power and the hierarchy of social constructs and administrative systems.

Themes of powerlessness and interrupted functions have spanned their career, with clocks whose arms cannot move, doors that cannot open, stairs that have fallen apart, diving boards that are inverted and pools that have been emptied.

Through sculpture, public works and more recently with expansive installations, Elmgreen & Dragset create situations and fictitious characters through which entire worlds can be explored. As such, we are asked to immerse ourselves within the work, becoming both guests and participants within these carefully constructed realities.

Michael Elmgreen (b. 1961, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (b. 1969, Norway) have staged numerous exhibitions around the world, including recent solo shows at Whitechapel (London), Museum Haus Lange at Kunstmuseen Krefeld (Krefeld), FLAG Art Foundation (New York), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Tel Aviv), Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing), PLATEAU Samsung Museum of Art (Seoul), Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (Oslo), the National Gallery of Denmark (Copenhagen), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), a public exhibition in connection with Public Art Fund at Rockefeller Centre (New York) as well as the Tate Modern (London). In 2009, Elmgreen & Dragset were awarded Special Mention at the 53rd Venice Biennale for their solo “The Collectors” at the Danish Pavilion and the Nordic Pavilion. In 2017, they curated the Istanbul Biennale. In 2020, they celebrated 25 years of collaboration with an expansive exhibition at EMMA  – Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Finland. Their work can be found in the public collections of Centre Pompidou (Paris), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Migros Museum (Zurich), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), MIUMOK Ludwig (Vienna), Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich), and Sammlung Boros (Berlin) among many others. In 2022, they opened an expansive and critically acclaimed solo exhibition at Prada Foundation (Milan).

carrie emberlyn