Elmgreen & Dragset’s work on Place Vendôme
“We use humour in our works as a sort of “anger management”. We might bite our tongues all the time, but only because we’re constantly looking for a new language.”
Elmgreen & Dragset (Danish Michael Elmgreen and Norweigan Ingar Dragset) recently made a significant impact on art history with the curation in 2017 of the Istanbul Biennale under the curatorial framework A Good Neighhbour in which the artists discussed political and human rights. This year, to coincide with FIAC, the artists presented a very poetic large-scale installation on Place Vendôme titled To Whom It May Concern.
Following previous commissions by the likes of Jaume Plensa, Paul McCarthy and Udo Rondinone, Elmgreen & Dragset placed 100 red starfish dispersed across the iconic square, referencing minimal land art. “The starfish installation at Place Vendôme differs from the usual vertical and monumental public sculptures as it consists of 100 bronze pieces that are not bigger than real-life starfish,” the artists said.
“We have previously exhibited sculptures at significant plazas like Trafalgar Square and Rockefeller Plaza, and it is important to keep in mind that the large crowds of people visiting such public places might not be a trained art audience, so you need to make a statement that’s accessible, something that visitors who come from many different backgrounds can relate to in one way or another. That doesn’t mean that you need to be populist or superficial, but it is urgent not to be too introverted or to fill the work with codes that can only be understood by those who have a profound insight into contemporary art.”
The public installation will be presented at the Domaine des Etangs in Massignac following FIAC. In addition, Perrotin Gallery runs a solo presentation of Elmgreen & Dragset’s works until 22 December.