‘Bonne Chance’ by Elmgreen & Dragset


From 10 June 2023 to 1 April 2024, Center Pompidou-Metz will host ‘Bonne Chance’ by Elmgreen & Dragset, a solo exhibition that presents seemingly familiar environments from our daily life. Known for their emblematic way of drastically transforming exhibition spaces into temporary artificial environments, the artist duo had presented ‘Useless Bodies?’ at the Prada Foundation in Milan, showcasing a series of different universes. This year, the show curated by Chiara Parisi will take over several spaces of the museum, including the Grande Nef, the Forum, and the roof top gallery, inviting visitors to face the paradox in Elmgreen & Dragset’s dream-like maze.  


‘Bonne Chance’ will bring together both existing and recent sculptures, unfolding scenes in a computer game-like layout, where visitors are called upon to navigate and discover the limits between the fictional and the real. By replicating common urban settings, the artists seek to create unique spatial environments that ‘seem strangely incongruous within an art institution.’ Life-like silicone figures placed in various mundane everyday rituals engage spectators in a more detailed investigation, inviting them to take on the role of witnesses, intruders, or detectives. Walking through the spaces, they seek to connect together different clues and craft their own scenarios, unraveling the narratives hidden behind the plastic protagonists. elmgreen & dragset drastically transform centre pompidou-metz into artificial environments

The Outsiders, 2020 Courtesy: Pace Gallery © Studio Elmgreen & Dragset / Adagp, Paris, 2023 – Photo: Elmar Vestner



inside Elmgreen & Dragset’s a labyrinthine space


In the middle of the forum is a full-scale apartment building, ‘The One & the Many’ an ‘unexpected structure that reshapes the usual experience of Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines’ architecture. The artists believe that every space has a hidden alter-ego that they hope to reveal through alteration or displacement. In The One & the Many, they recreated an East German social housing block, a so-called ‘plattenbau’, commonly seen in Berlin.΄ Visitors can see the building only from the outside, while all the windows are wrapped in blinds or curtains. Next to the house is parked an old Mercedes estate car with two men figures embraced in the trunk, surrounded by materials indicating they are art handlers.


The show unfolds in different ordinary spaces, including a theatre auditorium, a public restroom, a laboratory, a conference room, a morgue, a CCTV surveillance room, and an office landscape. However, these day-to-day settings follow a nonsensical narrative that no longer applies normal rules. Thus, the spaces start to create a sense of discomfort and unease, while the uncanniness intensifies as the viewer comes across peculiar characters. Although it follows a computer game-like map with the unexpected being at its core, ‘Bonne Chance’ provides a glimpse of hope and underlines that ‘it is not a matter of chance but maybe of choice’. To that, Elmgreen & Dragset have added,‘these structures, unlike those in a computer game, always can change or be interchanged. Only as long as we in a society accept the structures that hold up power, does power stay the way it is’.



elmgreen & dragset drastically transform centre pompidou-metz into artificial environments
The One & The Many, 2010 et The Outsiders, 2020 © Adagp, Paris 2022 © Studio Elmgreen & Dragset


elmgreen & dragset drastically transform centre pompidou-metz into artificial environments
Untitled, 2011 © Studio Elmgreen & Dragset / Adagp, Paris, 2023 – Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli

elmgreen & dragset drastically transform centre pompidou-metz into artificial environments
What‘s Left?, 2021 © Adagp, Paris 2022 – Photo: Elmar Vestner



project info:


name: Bonne Chance
artists: Elmgreen & Dragset | @elmgreenanddragsetstudio

location: Grande Nef, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Paris

dates: 10.06.23 to 01.04.24