Home Magazine Elmgreen & Dragset: 2020 EMMA

Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset: 26.09.2020 - 17.01.2021 

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Furnished as it were a real one with shoes and bags, a Prada shop appears in the middle of the desert in Texas. You are driving, you notice it indiscriminately, you turn back thus deciding to stop and to become a testimony of a dystopic situation: It is Prada Marfa (2005). Similarly, huge bent swimming pool takes place in Pride Park in Miami Beach: you cannot swim in it, but you can admire it as a blue panorama (2018). Or again, a white car, towing a trailer, emerges from a long imaginary journey to the center of the earth, from the floor of the central octagon in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan. We are talking about Short Cut, an installation project made in collaboration with Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in 2003.


Elmgreen & Dragset, Trap, 2020 Peugeot Cabriolet, taxidermy rat, car jack Courtesy of the artists Ph Paula Virta.


Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset are often creating incursions into landscapes, inner or outer spaces, or cities as to change people’s vision on reality by making up situations and stories. The duo’s approach towards contemporary art is both “discreet or dramatic” as Massimiliano Gioni wrote about the Short Cut project. And, in fact, they deal with everyday life in very ambiguous ways. Their audience has to understand the irony, gravity, and thoughts hidden in their works. 

Less than a month ago, at EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art– in Finland, Elmgreen & Dragset opened a solo show (26.09.2020 - 17.01.2021) as a symbol of their 25th anniversary of their collaboration. By using their usual distorting and replacing attitude of certain venues, places or simply moods, Elmgreen & Dragset modified the Museum architecture by transforming the space into  a completely different environment.

As the artists said, they created a peculiar situation “like a film you can walk into”. As often happens in their installations and works, Elmgreen & Dragset built a fictional environment where the public could imagine stories and situations thanks to the path made by some of the duo’s sculptures, both new works and familiar ones. A quiet, but surreal atmosphere is suggested by their imaginary that, together with site specific installations, have a deep dialogue with the museum space. The individual, the lonely human being, can not help but staying in the middle of this situation - as clearly suggested by the work “The wait” (2013), an impressive and intimate sculpture of a teenager who, completely absorbed by his own thoughts, is staring at the floor, thinking about something (see cover image). 


Elmgreen & Dragset, EMMA ph. Paula Virta.


Cover image: Elmgreen & Dragset, EMMA.

Wrtitten by Rossella Farinotti

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