ATLATIKUMI // In the Atlantic

Jeannette Ehlers, Jessie Kleemann og Pia Arke

ATLANTIKUMI is the title of the newest upcoming exhibition at Nuuk Art Museum. This exhibition represents three female artists – Jeannette Ehlers, Jessie Kleemann and Pia Arke. In their practice the three artists move across the Atlantic Ocean – stops and experiences the waves of stories from across the Atlantic.

Historically, the Atlantic Ocean has both connected and separated people and cultures. A place with countless colonial paths and a place where people and colonial power structures collide. The Atlantic Ocean is a specific place on the old sea map, but also a place “in between” – a place of “nowhere”. It’s a longing, a connection and a colonial trading route. This place becomes the collision point between continents, a place you physically cannot stay for long, but where stories and voices from different cultures and countries meet.

The artists work with their own bodies and with their own stories, which has all emerged in and around the Atlantic Ocean. Their artworks connect and explores voices, stories and cultures across the Atlantic.

Pia Arke (1958-2007) identified herself, in her work as an artist, as a bastard, a hybrid between two cultures, two places, two countries. Her art explores the historic connection between Greenland and Denmark together with her own connection to both countries and cultures. Among other artforms, Arke works with photography. She uses herself as a performative subject and often in connection with the ocean – a horizon that connects a place with another.

Jeannette Ehlers (b. 1972) works with colonialism, slave trade and its aftermath. Her art centers around the former Danish Vest Indies. In her video art and performances, she explores neglected voices from the Atlantic between Africa and Europe as well as America and the Caribbean. The artist gives voices to the people who were moved and traded out of Africa through the Atlantic Triangular Trade. A slave trade that has left its marks and draws lines to the present. Like Arke, Ehlers uses her own body performative and bases her art I her own personal story rooted in the Caribbean.

Jessie Kleemann (b. 1959) also uses her own body and experiences in her performances, videoart and poetry. The cultural intersection and where differences meet and weaves into each other is a turning point in Kleemanns performances. It includes both the crooked and twisted combined with perspectives that expands your horizon. Between the Greenlandic and Danish mindset, she processes cultural symbols and feelings. She stands in the middle of it all. In the place where the forgotten voices and nuances are. In her poetry, she effortlessly shifts between Greenlandic, Danish and English without giving notice to the limits in between them.

The exhibition will open on October 28th at 17:30 as a part of the Nuuk Nordic Culture Festival, but will be visible until January 31st.

The exhibition is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Government of Greenland through Tips- & lottomidlerne, Nuuk Nordisk Kulturfestival and Nuuk Lokaludvalg.