Ingar Dragset studied theatre history and comes from performance art while Elmgreen has a background in pictorial art. They live and work in Berlin. They began working together in 1995.
Since 1996 Elmgreen & Dragset have participated in a number of exhibitions at home but in particular abroad, including "Junge Szene" at Wiener Seccesion in Vienna and "Nuits Blanches" at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. After commencing work on Powerless Structures they have exhibited pieces from the series alone or in group contexts, including the first Berlin Biennial, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, The Project in New York, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, MIT in Boston, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Portikus in Frankfurt, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and Kunsthalle Zürich. Furthermore they have participated in the Istanbul Biennial, the São Paulo Biennial and the Venice Biennal in 2003. Other exhibitions includes: Tate Modern in London (2004), Bergen Kunsthall (2005), The Serpentine Gallery in London (2006), Malmö Konsthall (2007), Victoria Miro in London (2008), Trondheim Kunstmuseum (2008) og U-turn Quadrennial for Contemporary Art in Copenhagen (2008).
Elmgreen & Dragset are in 2009 curating The Danish and The Nordic Pavilion at The Venice Biennal. At the opening they were praised for the Biennal exhibition "The Collectors".
In 2000 Elmgreen & Dragset were nominated for the prestigious international art award the Hugo Boss Prize which is awarded by a jury in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 2002 they were awarded Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst in Berlin. In January 2006 they won the competition to design a monument commemorating the homosexual victims of Nazi persecution during World War II. The competition was arranged by the German state, and the memorial will be erected in the centre of Berlin not far from Peter Eisenmann's Holocaust memorial.
In March 2006 the artist couple received the ARKEN Prize of DKK 100,000. The prize was awarded for the uncompromising and innovative quality and singular international level of their work.
Furthermore Elmgreen & Dragset are represented in Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin, Louisiana in Humlebæk, Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation, Vienna, Austria, Horsens Kunstmuseum, Musée national d’art moderne, Centre George Pompidou in Paris and Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France.