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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Elmgreen & Dragset

b. 1995, Denmark

Collaborating since 1997, artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset (Elmgreen & Dragset) have actively challenged and reshaped contemporary ideas about the viewing and experiencing of art. Wit and subversive humour almost always accompany their works, as evident in Prada Marfa (2005), which saw the artists place a fake Prada store in the middle of a Texas desert town, and the large sculpture Van Gogh’s Ear (2016), which rendered the legendary ear using a domestic swimming pool. ‘The noblest role of art’, in the words of the artists, is ‘to reject responsibility, to exist beyond any logic, to not just be reduced to becoming a reaction to something else.’ 
 
Elmgreen & Dragset often seek to challenge the status quo of the art world while maintaining their signature humour. Entering the art world in the 1990s as ’outsiders’—with no academic background in art—the duo confronted the convention of the white cube literally by designing gallery spaces suspended from the ceiling, sunken into the ground or turned upside down. The transformation of these galleries was not simply whimsical; they also sought to reconfigure the rules that have dictated and continue to dictate the experience of art. 
 
The transformation of conventional space is as integral to Elmgreen & Dragset’s practice as the objects they may put in the space. In their 2015 show Aéroport Mille Plateaux, the duo transformed PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, into an airport. With chairs commonly found in airports and playbacks of announcements for arrivals and cancelled flights, the space dictated the experience and behaviour of its visitors. Through the transformation, the duo explored the interchangeability of institutional architecture.
 
Elmgreen & Dragset have also demonstrated their prowess as artist-curators on several occasions. At the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, in an unprecedented merging of two national pavilions, Elmgreen & Dragset curated the Danish and Nordic Pavilions as a single exhibition. Titled The Collectors, the exhibitions invited more than 20 artists and designers from the two respective countries to fill the homes of fictional art collectors. In transforming an otherwise competitive event into one of participation and intimacy, the duo subverted art world convention once more. Similarly, for their first exhibition in mainland China at the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, they turned the institution’s great hall into the site of an art fair. Presenting a selection of over 80 of their works from the past two decades, The Well Fair (2016) continued the artists’ longstanding interest in merging spaces to critique conventions of the art world. Each booth of the fair addressed larger sociocultural problems such as childhood and identity, while the fictive setting of the fair subverted the social hierarchy of artists and artworks found in commercial art fairs. Their success was further recognized by their appointment as the curators for the 15th Istanbul Biennial in 2017.
 
Based in Berlin, Elmgreen & Dragset have exhibited at numerous venues including Museum Haus Lange, Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany (2017); Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2016); Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2014); Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2013–2014); Tate Modern, London (2004); and Kunsthalle Zürich (2001). In 2000, they were nominated for the Hugo Boss Prize, in 2002 they won the Preis der Nationalgalerie at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, and in 2009 they were awarded Special Mention at that year's Venice Biennale for their effort as curators. 

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Couple, Fig. 12 by Elmgreen & Dragset contemporary artwork
Elmgreen & DragsetCouple, Fig. 12, 2016 MDF, PVC, aluminum, stainless steel
220 x 142 cm
Perrotin
Eternity by Elmgreen & Dragset contemporary artwork
Elmgreen & DragsetEternity, 2014 Epoxy resin sculpture on wooden bed, bedding, white super matte lacquer finish
133 x 155 cm
Perrotin
Highway Painting, No. 6 by Elmgreen & Dragset contemporary artwork
Elmgreen & DragsetHighway Painting, No. 6, 2019 Paint on asphalt, aluminium
205 x 105 x 8 cm
Kukje Gallery
Highway Painting, No. 14 by Elmgreen & Dragset contemporary artwork
Elmgreen & DragsetHighway Painting, No. 14, 2019 Paint on asphalt, aluminium
205 x 105 x 8 cm
Kukje Gallery
City in the Sky by Elmgreen & Dragset contemporary artwork
Elmgreen & DragsetCity in the Sky, 2019 Stainless steel, steel, aluminium acrylic glass, LED lights
400 x 500 x 220 cm
Kukje Gallery
Human Scale (Zero) by Elmgreen & Dragset contemporary artwork
Elmgreen & DragsetHuman Scale (Zero), 2018 Aluminium, lacquer, polyurethane, mirror-polished stainless steel
179 x 80 x 82 cm
Perrotin
Queer Bar (oval)/ Powerless Structures, Fig. 221 by Elmgreen & Dragset contemporary artwork
Elmgreen & DragsetQueer Bar (oval)/ Powerless Structures, Fig. 221, 2018 Corian, MDF, stainless steel, beer taps, stools
113 x 375 x 220 cm
Perrotin

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Taka Ishii Gallery 25th Anniversary: Survived! at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Closed
25 June–27 July 2019 Group Exhibition Taka Ishii Gallery 25th Anniversary: Survived! Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Taka Ishii Gallery 25th Anniversary: Survived! at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Closed
25 June–27 July 2019 Group Exhibition Taka Ishii Gallery 25th Anniversary: Survived! Taka Ishii Gallery, Photography / Film, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Elmgreen & Dragset, Adaptations at Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Closed
21 March–28 April 2019 Elmgreen & Dragset Adaptations Kukje Gallery, Seoul

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Philip Tinari talks about Elmgreen & Dragset's 'The Well Fair' at UCCA, Beijing Ocula Insight Philip Tinari talks about Elmgreen & Dragset's 'The Well Fair' at UCCA, Beijing 26 January 2016

Since taking up the role of director at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing in 2011, Philip Tinari has increasingly become known as one of the leading experts on contemporary Chinese art. UCCA is one of the most important non-profit art institutions in China, and Tinari manages an exhibition programme dedicated to promoting both...

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Elmgreen & Dragset Ocula Conversation Elmgreen & Dragset Artists, Scandinavia

The influential powers of the art market; its hierarchies and trends, provide the stage and spotlight that determines a contemporary artist’s career. Danish and Norwegian artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, aka Elmgreen & Dragset, have utilised these art world systems to their advantage, fuelling their practice and...

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Elmgreen & Dragset Ocula Conversation Elmgreen & Dragset Artists, Scandinavia

Subversive humor is at the heart of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s widely divergent contemporary works that often include the transformation of architectural spaces and sculpture. The Scandinavian duo met in the mid-nineties at a nightclub in Copenhagen, lived together for a decade, and still collaborate today from their respective...

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In Related Press

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The Shows to See in Copenhagen During Chart Related Press The Shows to See in Copenhagen During Chart Frieze : 29 August 2019

Danish collective SUPERFLEX follow Jeppe Hein in the creation of an installation in the moist, dark recesses of Copenhagen's fascinating former cisterns. 'It is not the end of the world', invites the viewer to enter a dystopian future set in a climate-ravaged city. Waterproof footwear is obligatory to enter the space and can be borrowed on site....

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Elmgreen & Dragset and Georg Jensen invite you to put your phones to bed Related Press Elmgreen & Dragset and Georg Jensen invite you to put your phones to bed Wallpaper* : 15 July 2019

Georg Jensen's HQ occupies a yellow-brick, former porcelain factory building in the leafy neighbourhood of Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. It's a suitably impressive place, befitting a world-renowned heritage brand, but what sets it apart is what it contains, rather than its architecture. On its first floor is the world's largest silver smithy, where...

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Elmgreen & Dragset's bar doesn't work (and that's the point) Related Press Elmgreen & Dragset's bar doesn't work (and that's the point) Phaidon News : 2 April 2019

There's a nice-looking bar at Elmgreen & Dragset's new show, Adaptations, at the Kukje Gallery in Seoul, South Korea. It's white, oval shaped, and is fitted with two bar taps, and looks pretty inviting ...

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Elmgreen & Dragset’s cavernous Berlin live-work space offers a clever twist on familiar structures Related Press Elmgreen & Dragset’s cavernous Berlin live-work space offers a clever twist on familiar structures Wallpaper* : 1 January 2019

Scandinavian art duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have become masters of the architectural installation over the past 13 years, picking up critical acclaim and international gallery shows as they go. Their work is characterised by presenting a familiar space in a different context.

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