Esben Weile Kjær, 2020. Photo: Philip Messmann
Esben Weile Kjær
In a cross-breed between an art institution and a night club, Esben Weile Kjær’s exhibition HARDCORE FREEDOM discusses, demonstrates, and expands ideas of freedom. The installation is changeable and regularly brought to life by performances, sweeping back and forth between rebellion and party, inviting exhibition visitors to get involved via contrasting dance styles, theatre, intimate interactions, light, and sound. Like a hybrid space, HARDCORE FREEDOM unravels and challenges the narratives and visual agency of popular art together with the contemporary fascination with performing and selling freedom. The exhibition is presented in a special partnership with the art association Kunstforeningen GL STRAND, which, in the spring of 2020, will be showing POWER PLAY, also by Weile Kjær.
Already while studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, whence he will be graduating in 2022, Weile Kjær has attracted attention as a major talent of performance art in Denmark with performances at e.g. Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of Denmark, the Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, and Kunstforeningen GL STRAND, as well as abroad including the Paris Internationale and the Nordic Contemporary, Paris, and the Karlin Studios, Prague.
About Esben Weile Kjær
Esben Weile Kjær (b.1992) lives and works in Copenhagen. He is educated in music management at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory and is currently studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, whence he will graduate in 2022. He works with various media, including sculpture, drawing, video, and performance, addressing themes such as pop culture, experience economy, identity, and generational fear. His primary expressional mode is performances, which take the form of interventions in public spaces as well as in exhibition contexts with props like podiums, confetti cannons, fences, and laser light.
Esben Weile Kjær has performed abroad at e.g. the Paris Internationale, the Museum of Contemporary Queer Art, Athens, the Nordic Contemporary, Paris, and the Karlin Studios, Prague, and in Denmark at e.g. the National Gallery of Denmark, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, and Kunstforeningen GL STRAND. In 2018, Weile Kjær curated the performance biennial Alt_Cph entitled Over-existing at Fabrikken for Kunst og Design in collaboration with his sister, the art historian Anna Weile Kjær.