Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have worked together since 1995 at the crossroads of art and architecture and performance and installation. Preoccupied with objects and their settings and the discourse that can arise when those objects are radically recontextualized, Elmgreen & Dragset push against the normal modes for the display of art. Whether presenting sculptures or total environments, their work draws attention to the institutions that host them and their attendant politics. Performativity and participation are fraught as their work invites and denies participation in equal measure. Elmgreen & Dragset’s outdoor public sculptures recontextualize their surroundings, such as well-known projects like Van Gogh’s Ear at Rockefeller Center in New York or Prada Marfa along Highway 90 in the middle of the Texan desert.
Elmgreen & Dragset have held numerous solo exhibitions at art institutions worldwide, including Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018); Museum Haus Lange, Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany (2017); FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2016); Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2016); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2016); PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2015); Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark (2014); Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway (2014); Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2013); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2011); ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany (2010); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León, Spain (2009); The Power Plant, Toronto (2006); Serpentine Gallery, London (2006); Tate Modern, London (2004), and Kunsthalle Zürich (2001).
Their work has been included in the Bangkok Art Biennale (2018), Istanbul Biennial (2013, 2011, 2001), Liverpool Biennial (2012), Performa 11 (New York, 2011), Singapore Biennale (2011), Moscow Biennale (2011, 2007), Venice Biennale (2009, 2003), Gwangju Biennale (2006, 2002), Bienal de São Paulo (2002), and Berlin Biennale (1998), and in 2009 they received a special mention for their exhibition The Collectors at the 53rd Venice Biennale. The artists were shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2000) and won the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2002). In 2012 Elmgreen & Dragset were selected for London’s Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square, and in 2017 they curated the 15th Istanbul Biennial.