February 1 – April 29, 2019
Jeannette Ehlers is a video, photo and performance artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Experimental imagery characterizes her multidisciplinary work, and for years she has created artworks that engage with resistance towards coloniality. On these changeable terms, meaning and identity are explored, in both a sophisticated and immediate way. Ehlers’s performative and cinematic universes delve into ethnicity and identity inspired by her own Danish and Caribbean background. Her pieces revolve around big questions and difficult issues, such as Denmark’s role as a slave nation—a part of the Danish cultural heritage–which often gets overlooked in the general historiography.
On March 31, 2018, she unveiled I Am Queen Mary, a public sculpture project in collaboration with La Vaughn Belle.
At 18th Street Arts Center, Jeannette Ehlers and Nikolaj Recke will exhibit performances, videos, and sculptural installations at the Atrium Gallery.
Jeannette Ehlers & Nikolaj Recke | Sea and Land
Atrium Gallery | April 10 – May 17, 2019
From the words of an old Danish children’s rhyme, Jeg gik mig over sø og land… “I traveled over sea and land.” The works of visiting artists Jeannette Ehlers and Nikolaj Recke occupy different spaces in geography and time. Ehlers looks far back into the history of Danish colonialism and involvement in the transatlantic slave trade in the nineteenth century, making the repercussions of the forgotten past visible in the present through performances, videos, and sculptural installations that place her own body and those of other black women performers into positions of strength and power long denied to them. Recke looks to the more recent past when Earthworks artists from New York took to the American desert, unearthing traces of this country’s neglected history of genocide, forced displacement, and nuclear war. Both artists bring the past into the present with lightness, keeping feet on the ground and sails to the wind.
Ehlers has exhibited internationally including Frost Art Museum, Miami, US; CAMP, Copenhagen, DK; Wallach Art Gallery, NYC,USA; AROS, Aarhus, DK; MOLAA, Los Angeles, USA; The Black Diamond, Copenhagen, Denmark; International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, UK; 21c Museum Hotels, Louisville, Kentucky, US; Reykjavik Art Museum, IS; The McKenna Museum of African American Art, New Orleans, USA; Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, London,UK; UVP on Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, USA; Brundyn+ gallery, Cape Town SA; Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen,Denmark; LMAKprojects, NYC,USA; Dak’Art, Dakar, Senegal; Pérez Art Museum Miami, USA; Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada; Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin, Germany; and Museo Del Barrio, New York, USA.
Ehlers’ residency is generously supported by the Danish Arts Council.