Elmgreen & Dragset
Echte Grazer Bernhardkugeln

Commissioned work


Opening Extravaganza

Congress Graz

Production specifics
Commissioned by steirischer herbst ’19

Produced by steirischer herbst ’19 in collaboration with Zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur GmbH
With the kind support of the Office of Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) and Danish Arts Foundation

In their special edition of pralines, Elmgreen & Dragset take on the consumable sweetness of old Austria with a remake of one of its most famous treats, the Mozartkugel. This small, round confection consisting of pistachio marzipan and nougat covered with dark chocolate is now sold all over Austria. Elmgreen & Dragset’s version of the confectionery reverses the layering of ingredients and replaces Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his powdered wig with Thomas Bernhard (1931–1989), one of the most important Austrian writers of the postwar era. Bernhard was notoriously outspoken in his appraisals of Austria, which he famously characterized as “a mindless, cultureless sewer that spreads its penetrating stench all over Europe,” and he also had plenty of nasty things to say about Graz, especially that only old people and fools lived there. Elmgreen & Dragset bring back this irascible enemy of post-Habsburgian narrowness to poison the resurgence of national sentiment in Austria today with deliciousness.