Art duo Elmgreen & Dragset have been producing an ongoing series of sculptural works featuring a cast vulture. Made in a variety of materials and finishes—including bronze, epoxy resin, matte white lacquer, and matte grey lacquer, among others—the vulture is depicted in a range of different settings, including but not limited to being perched on a tree branch or towering over a child’s crib, high chair, school desk or wagon.
These unique sculptural works, one of which has been included in every solo exhibition by Elmgreen & Dragset since 2012, are often collectively referred to by the artists as “The Critic”, a moniker that refers at once to art and culture critics as well as one’s own inner critic. The vulture has a prominent beak and folded wings. It patiently peers down at the ground below, ready for its next prey. Elmgreen & Dragset’s Si par une nuit d’hiver un voyageur is a blackened bronze sculpture of a vulture perched on a tree branch of a decaying tree.