Jeannette Ehlers studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and The Funen Academy of Fine Arts Copenhagen. Ehlers creates digitally manipulated photographs and video based works. For Ehlers image manipulation is not just a technical mechanism but also a means to allow meaning and identity to be opened up. In her work Ehlers explores the Danish participation in the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism worldwide and black identity. Some of her recent exhibitions include SAY IT LOUD at Nikolaj Kunsthal Copenhagen Contemporary Art Centre (2014), BE.BOP2014 Spiritual Revolutions and the Scramble for Africa Berlin | Copenhagen (2014) and Caribbean: Crossroads of the World at Pérez Art Museum Miami (2014) and Museo Del Barrio New York (2012).
During her residency Ehlers collaborated with Patricia Kaersenhout on several projects. They collaborated on the video piece The image of me that was presented during the opening of the Black Magic Women Festival. The image of me is based on the poem Lord Why Did You Make Me Black? from African-American poet RuNett Nia Ebo and portrays two women gradually changing colour. Ehlers and Kaersenhout also created a series of photos. In this series they focus on how non-represented the transatlantic slave trade is in the national galleries of Denmark and The Netherlands. The photos of 17th Century Department (Lack Of Black) were taken in the Statens Museum For Kunst and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and show exhibition spaces with glorious art from the 17th century in which all black colour is digitally erased and replaced with white colour. These photo’s and individual pieces by both artists were exhibited in the show BE YOU at Centre for Visual Arts Zuidoost (CKB Zuidoost). Kaersenhout also invited Ehlers to participate in the group show Artists + Guest at C&H Art Space. In an interview by Clelia Coussonnet Ehlers talks about her artistic practice and specifically about her collaboration with Patricia Kaersenhout. Read the interview here.
Jeannette Ehlers (DK, 1973)