One of the most celebrated artist duos today for sure is Elmgreen & Dragset. The work of this Danish-Norwegian artistic couple explores the notions of a staged existence, while their installations and sculptures challenge the very nature of art. For this team, the best challenge and critique of the system comes from within which often explains the very nature and material choices of their productions. This time, Elmgreen and Dragset present the Galerie Perrotin at the Grand Palais in Paris with a one-day installation. Keeping the details secretive until the actual day of revealing, the team and the organizers promise that the audience will never see an art fair in the same way again.
Michael Elmgreen born in Denmark and Ingar Dragset born in Norway have worked together as a creative duo since 1995. Exploring the relationship between architecture, design, and art, the duo is world-famous and acknowledged for their interpretations of life. Sometimes humored, sometimes downright ambiguous, their monumental sculptures and installations completely transform the space setting. Such transformation creates a new identity, not only for the space and for the objects, but help to create an atmosphere of a fully functioning mini-environment. As such, they question the very nature of art production, and comment upon the very nature of true life and actual existence.
The secretive one-day installation at the Grand Palais in Paris is in fact, and this is the only hint we have received, a metamorphosis of their exhibition The Well Fair at the UCCA in Beijing. With this exhibition, the team explored the physical and conceptual makeup of a contemporary art fair. Similarly, their famous installation The Collectors at the Venice Biennale in 2009, explored the power figures and the micro-systems of the art world. Transforming the space of the Danish and Nordic pavilions into two imagined collectors’ homes, the tragic end of one of the figures was heavily burned in the audiences’ memory for a long time afterward. Alongside the two mentioned exhibitions is the transformation of the Serpentine Gallery into a labyrinth of various institutional corridors alongside the production of public works such as Van Gogh’s Ear at the Rockefeller Center, New York (2016); Power-less Structures, Fig. 101, selected for the Fourth Plinth Commission at London’s Trafalgar Square (2012); and Prada Marfa, their isolated Prada boutique in the middle of the Texan desert (2005).
Showing with the Galerie Perrotin, Elmgreen & Dragset promise that their new one-day installation will challenge the nature of art and its setting yet again.
The only thing left for us to say is that you should make sure to arrive at the Grand Palais between 2pm – 7 pm on the 24th September 2016, and immerse yourself in the magic of the Elmgreen and Dragset production.
The awaited installation by Elmgreen & Dragset was finally revealed to the Parisian public. An isolated art fair booth, the installation is actually an exact presentation that Galerie Perrotin will exhibit at the upcoming FIAC art fair next month. In line with their ironic approach, Elmgreen and Dragset have stripped the symbol of the art trado - the booth - from its context and placed it into a historical building of vast proportion, thus emphasizing its small dimensions and fleeting character. The works on show at this installation belong to the roster of Galerie Perrotin and they were all selected by the artistic couple signing the project. The works displayed in the improvised Galerie Perrotin booth include pieces by Elmgreen & Dragset, but also works signed by KAWS, John Henderson, Jesus Rafael Soto, JR, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Takashi Murakami, Heinz Mack, Xavier Veilhan, Paola Pivi, Bernard Frize, Sophie Calle, Claude Rutault, Chung Chang-Sup and Gregor Hildebrandt. The front inscription "The Well Fair" alludes to the duo's presentation at Contemporary Art Beijing earlier this year, while two vitrines display a miniature versions of the booths shown there - where 88 of the Elmgreen & Dragset pieces were on show. Another thought-provoking installation by this prolific couple delves into the ever-present question of the art market, its purposes and its importance within the grander scale of things, here represented by the Grand Palais.
All images courtesy of the Galerie Perrotin. Featured image in slider: View of the one-day installation "Elmgreen & Dragset present Galerie Perrotin at the Grand Palais" in Paris on Saturday September 24, 2016. Photo: Ambroise Tezenas. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin; Portrait Elmgreen & Dragset. Photo by Elmar Vestner; Elmgreen & Dragset - Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, (2012), Bronze cast, 411 x 174 x 442 cm 161 3/4 x 68 1/2 x 174 in Unique. Photo by James O Jenkins; Elmgreen & Dragset – The Collectors, 2009, Danish and Nordic Pavilions -53rd Venice Biennale. Photo by Anders Sune Berg; Elmgreen & Dragset - The Collectors, 2009, Danish and Nordic Pavilions -53rd Venice Biennale. Photo by Anders Sune Berg;Elmgreen & Dragset - The Well Fair (2016),UCCA, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing. Photo by Eric Gregory Powell.