The exhibition Can You Hear Me? presents a series of paintings, an audio piece, and a video work about the artist’s connection with the motifs depicted, her privileges as a white woman, and the conflict between being critical of this and yet living within it.
Lured to Barbados by an email scam a few years back, Ditte Ejlerskov drifted around in Rihanna’s world looking for something. A myth? A muse? One day at her studio, long after her dreamy Barbados expedition, one of Ejlerskov’s paintings woke up and said to her: “Hi. You made me up, Ditte. I am no longer a representation of Rihanna. I am a myth you created in your head. I am the echo of your own gaze.”
Through her body of work, Ditte Ejlerskov proposes that images amount to more than the desires and expectations we direct at them, they acquire a life of their own as they are accessed through the codes under which we live and perform. Regardless if they are portraits of Rihanna or products of the artist’s mind, they are nonetheless renderings of the white gaze. In Can you hear me?, it is the character of the awakened muse what makes us aware of this when we hear her say, in the audio piece that joins us through the exhibition: “You embody the privileged position as a white European. (…) Even though you talk about privilege and you see yourself as committed, you will always be removed from the equation, and that is the reason why you had to create me. With me you may portray white ambivalence.”
Do you want to see more? You can see more images from the exhibition in our Flickr album. You can also find albums with photos from our other exhibitions on our Flickr.
Ditte Ejlerskov was born in Frederikshavn, Denmark, 1982. She studied at Malmö Konsthögskola, Sweden, and since graduating she has exhibited at various art institutions in Sweden such as Malmö Konsthall, Malmö Art Museum, Skissernas Museum in Lund, Uppsala Art Museum and Kungl. Akademiens för de fria konsterna (Konstakademien) in Stockholm. In Norway, Ejlerskov has exhibited at Kristiansand Kunsthall and Stenersen Museum in Oslo. She has also exhibited at The Free Exhibition Building and Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Denmark, at CCA Andtrax in Spain, Bonn Art Museum in Bonn, Germany, Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland and Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston, Texas, US.
Ejlerskov was nominated for the Carnegie Art Award 2012 and in 2017 painted the official portrait of Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark’s Prime Minister from 2011-2015.
Exhibition is presented with the support of Statens Kunstfond.