With essays and interviews by Andrew Berardini, Iwona Blazwick, Susanne Christensen, Ruth Direktor, Bruce Willis Ferguson, Massimiliano Gioni, Martin Herbert, Shannon Jackson, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Quinn Latimer, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Marianne Torp
In conjunction with the exhibition ‘Elmgreen & Dragset – Biography’, two books, a reader and a picture book, are published to celebrate the artists’ almost twenty years of art-making. The picture book is published by Hatje Cantz and the reader by Archive Books.
‘Biography’ is the first major exhibition in Oslo by Elmgreen & Dragset. The show presents a wide selection of works from the artist duo’s complex universe, including sculpture, performance and interactive installations. Works from the late 1990s onwards are shown together with recent projects, and all together they create a unique insight into the artists’ oeuvre.
Elmgreen & Dragset consider an exhibition to be a work of art in itself, with all its narrative, choreographic and social possibilities and 'Biography' will examine the very conditions of exhibiting. Works that initially arrived from very different contexts are here brought together and the new constellations of works generate altered readings and additional layers of meaning. When walking through the museum, one will experience environments which occur very realistic, just in order to end up in almost surreal and other worldly scenarios elsewhere in the exhibition. A durational live act is juxtaposed with a series of wall pieces, and existing sculptures find their place in the context of new site specific environments. Part of the museum’s main exhibition hall is transformed into a gay nightclub, where the public encounter the remnants of a party, witnessing an activity going on prior to the opening of the exhibition. Additionally, areas of the museum that are not normally used as exhibition spaces are included in Elmgreen & Dragset’s staging. Already in the museum’s cloakroom, the surprising elements that have been added to the existing architectural features will prepare the visitor for an exhibition that is also an immersive theatrical/filmic experience.
The exhibition at the Astrup Fearnley Museet is the first in a three-part exhibition series by Elmgreen & Dragset entitled 'Biography'. It will be followed by exhibitions at the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen and at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.