September 13, 2014 - SMK (National Gallery of Denmark) - Elmgreen & Dragset
September 13, 2014

Elmgreen & Dragset

BIOGRAPHY exhibition view. Photo: Anders Sune Berg.

Elmgreen & Dragset

September 19, 2014–January 4, 2015

National Gallery of Denmark
Statens Museum for Kunst
Sølvgade 48-50
DK-1307 København K

On September 19, the SMK (National Gallery of Denmark) will open a major exhibition by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset. The exhibition is the second in the series BIOGRAPHY, which started in February at Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo and will cover central movements and developments in the duo’s extensive body of work from 1995 to the present day.

BIOGRAPHY will take over the entire ground floor of the museum, which will be remodeled for this exhibition, altering the way visitors and staff interact with the space. It will feature over 30 works from the artists’ nearly 20-year career, with some of their best-known works shown alongside new site-specific commissions including Welcome (2014), a full-scale Airsteam caravan crushed by a giant “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Also on display for the first time will be a smaller bronze sculpture depicting a Rolex watch, The Award (2014), which is a re-cast using the bronze from the artists’ own Eckersberg Medal, one of the highest Danish cultural awards given out by the Queen of Denmark.

The One & the Many (2010), a 12-meter-tall social housing block, where visitors can peek into the homes of the fictional tenants, will sit in the main foyer juxtaposed against the grand, classic architecture of the museum. From there a labyrinthine corridor system will take visitors onto a Kafkasque journey through a series of institutional spaces such as the waiting room of a job center, a public restroom, a prison cell, and a morgue. Elmgreen & Dragset create universes in which even familiar, drab institutional spaces and banal domestic settings suddenly appear as magical, and through the artists’ alterations or displacements of ordinary designs new realities start to unfold. Often the artists merge the seemingly real with the fantastical in their extensive installations, as evinced in The Collectors, their lauded contribution to the Venice Biennale in 2009, their critically acclaimed exhibition The Welfare Show at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2006) and most recently their large-scale installation Tomorrow at the Victoria & Albert Museum in autumn 2013. 

“The exhibition will take shape as a filmic scenography where visitors will actively participate as protagonists, not just as passive spectators. When we do an exhibition such as this, we consider the exhibition format an artwork in itself,” say Elmgreen & Dragset. 

The exhibition is shown until January 4, 2015. 

Elmgreen & Dragset at the SMK
SMK (National Gallery of Denmark)
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