Out of Scandinavia

Artist-in-Residence Program

Our 2023 Out of Scandinavia Artist in Residence is Danish-Trinidadian performance artist Jeannette Ehlers, who is based in Copenhagen. Her practice takes shape experimentally across photography, video, installation, sculpture, and performance. Ehlers’ work often evokes decolonial hauntings and disruptions, and she insists on the possibility for empowerment and healing in her art, honoring legacies of resistance in the African diaspora. She merges the historical, the collective, and the rebellious with the familial, the bodily, and the poetic. Her latest major solo installation “Archives in the Tongue: A Litany of Freedoms,” a spiritual and meditative space on Afro-Caribbean relations featuring the mythical figure Moko Jumbie, exhibited in Summer 2022 at Kunsthall Charlottenborg in Denmark to much critical acclaim. Her work is currently featured in the Minneapolis Institute of Art exhibition “Fragments of Epic Memory.”

Ehlers will join us in person for a full week of programming during OUT OF SCANDINAVIA WEEK, from Monday April 24 - Friday April 28. Honoring the intention of the annual OOS Artist-in-Residence Program, Ehlers’s visit will focus on working and interacting with students in the Department of Scandinavian Studies and across Gustavus. While here, she will offer a master class on performance art for theatre and dance students and visit courses in many departments, including Martha Ndakalako’s “African Digital Literatures” course, Phil Bryan’s “Poetry of the African Diaspora” course, Ursula Lindqvist’s seminar on Nordic Colonialisms and Post-Colonial Studies, and Tiffany Grobelski’s Global Migration course, among others. The Center for Inclusive Excellence and the Pan-Afrikan Student Association (PASO) will co-host a reception for Ehlers in the CIE from noon-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, and there will be many opportunities for students to interact informally with Ehlers during her stay.

Ehlers’ visit culminates in a public lecture, “From Invisibility to Manifestation,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 26 in the Gardner Lab Theatre, next to the STEAMery Cafe in Nobel Hall. An installation of Ehlers’ works in video and image slides will be screened in the hallway directly outside the theatre from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night. On Thursday, April 27, Ehlers will repeat her lecture at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. All of these events are free and open to the public.

The Gustavus Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence Program is proudly supported by the Marguerite Olson Pratt Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence Program Endowment Fund established by Charlotte (Pratt) '86 and Henrik '88 Nordstrom of Minneapolis, Minnesota in honor of Charlotte's late mother Marguerite, member of the Gustavus Class of 1953, life-long educator, and avid promoter of all things Nordic.

The week’s events are also co-sponsored by Interdisciplinary programs in African and Africa Diaspora Studies; Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies; Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; Comparative Literature; the Department of Art & Art History; the Department of Theatre & Dance; the Center for Inclusive Excellence; the Equity and Inclusion Division; the Center for International and Cultural Education; and the Pan-Afrikan Student Association. 

For more information about this year’s OUT OF SCANDINAVIA WEEK, please contact visit coordinator Ursula Lindqvist, Professor of Scandinavian Studies and Director of Comparative Literature at Gustavus, at ulindqvi@gustavus.edu.