Rethinking Cultural Interactions in Visual Art
Conference on April 15-16, 2024 at University of Copenhagen

This conference focuses on the transcultural turn in art history by examining its theoretical, methodological, and analytical potentials and limits. Transcultural approaches aim to broaden the notion of “art” by proposing new frameworks for understanding the complex flows of people, objects, and ideas that circulate around the globe. 
Conference on April 15-16, 2024 at University of Copenhagen.

Read more and sign up before April 1 at:

Contact Information:Gunhild Borggreen, Associate Professor,


Public Art Video Installation:

Dikenga – Four Faces of the Sun

February 23 – March 1, 2024, 6:00–10:00 p.m.

Location: John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library, Fisk University
1000 17th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208

Reception: February 23, 2024

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Featuring artist Michelle EISTRUP, Artistic Fellow at the John Lewis Center for Social Justice.


A community-centered and research-driven collaborative effort

  • exploring the Bakongo philosophy regarding gentleness, openness, strength, and resilience
  • revitalizing a language embodied in gestures often found in the living artifacts, niombos and nkisi’s trapped in museum collections
  • celebrating an African-American heritage that transmits real social and aesthetic values
  • highlighting the significance of spirituality at the facade of a primary place of gathered knowledge
  • representing a circular and transitional journey of human life, from which all can take inspiration

Produced with the support of the Schusterman Foundation, the University Galleries and the Discipline of Art, Fisk University, and the Danish Arts Council.

Four Faces of the Sun is part of the Engine for Art, Democracy and Justice (EADJ) at Vanderbilt University’s 2022/2023 program, Artistic Activism and the Power of Collective Resistance, curated by Selene Wendt.

For inquiries about this event, please write Lakesha Moore at Fisk University Galleries:

Dec 2023

It is the main theatrical event in Cape Verde and currently the most important theatrical event in all of Lusophone Africa. It is now considered the most important theater event in West Africa.

October 2023

Southnord x Kulturhuset welcomes you to join us for the inaugural Southnord Artfest, a triennial in the making. This edition, hosted by Kulturhuset in Stockholm brings together some of the Nordics’ foremost contemporary artists, some hidden gems and legendary forerunners. Their common denominator is their African heritage and their Nordic context, which they use to examine what it means to be a complex and multifaceted human being. The artfest takes place between 26 October 2023 and 14 January 2024.

The works in the exhibition include photography, video installations, painting, tapestry, sculpture, a sonic piece and a living archive. The artists each straddling two or more cultural spaces that give them unique and multiple simultaneous perspectives, as they tell stories that often go untold; juxtapose experiences that often exist in parallel; centre histories that are often in the margin. Through their work they begin to fill in the gaps in our common history, chronicling and bearing witness for the muted and the voiceless.

In addition to this stellar exhibition The Threshold is a Prism, there will be a rich programme of performances, screenings, workshops, talks, lectures and so much more! The programme is divided into three main thematic weekends where the themes Sharing, Digging, and Caring examine questions that are tackled in the exhibition. Check out our calendar for more details!

September 2023



16 sep – 18 feb 2024.  
Opening: 15 sep 2023 17:00

The international group exhibition Seeds and Souls proposes new explorations into the connections between botanical histories and the movement of plants through reclaiming traditional knowledge, revisiting colonial legacies and contemporary diasporic experiences.

Presented at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, which was built in the late 19th century on the grounds of Copenhagen’s then botanical garden, the exhibition draws parallels between original soil and vegetation – their extraction, consumption, transplantation, and mutation into new environments – and the phenomena of cultural dispersions anchored within histories that continue to impact us today.

The participating artists reflect on these questions through various forms of tangible and immaterial excavations, the uncovering of overlooked and sometimes contentious histories, and through ‘re-rooting’ as a way of reclaiming agency over these histories and cultural expressions. Visitors can look forward to encounter large scale and sculptural textile installations, video and mixed media pieces, as well as paintings.

Participating artists: Brook Andrew, Shiraz Bayjoo, Sonia Boyce, Ishita Chakraborty, Annalee Davis, Michelle Eistrup, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Linda Lamignan, Yvon Ngassam.

Seeds and Souls is curated by Christine Eyene, Lecturer in Contemporary Art at Liverpool John Moores University and Research Curator at Tate Liverpool.

The exhibition is supported by the Augustinus Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Obel Family Foundation, the Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Foundation.


August 2023

'The String of Lineage will not be Broken'. Screening of video produced at Fisk. Presented by Osei Bonsu, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art of Africa, Tate Modern.

April 2023


Artistic Metamorphosis Towards Social Justice

Michelle Eistrup is the Aaron Douglas Artist Fellow-in-Residence for The John Lewis Center for Social Justice on the campus of Fisk University.Growing up in Jamaica, Eistrup experienced spirituality as a ubiquitous factor. Africancosmology moved like an undercurrent through dance, music, gestures, and proverbs -and in closed circles. Since the mid-90s, she has explored several spiritual spheres of the African Diaspora, first with studies at Haverford University in the United States and then later with field work in the Caribbean and in West Africa.

Eistrup invites you to an open public workshop, held in conjunction with her work titled Charging Change 2nd movement, that will be exhibited at Fisk University in the Fall of 2023, as part of the EADJ program Artistic Activism and the Power of Collective Resistance, curated by Selene Wendt.

Charging Change is based on extensive research about Bakongo cosmology and ideology from 2015-2021. It connects scientific research and museum artifacts from across the western hemisphere with people and stories from among the African Diaspora. Participants of this workshop will be introduced to the visual language of

Bakongo cosmology. (As interpreted by Nashville-based dancers through movement and gesture, this cosmology becomes physical and tangible. Some of these dancers will be present to conduct the workshops: Henry Alumona (Dancer and Fisk Student), Shabbaz (Dancer), and Thea Jones (Dancer).

Their dance and the Dikenga cosmogram serve as an introduction to a large-scale public video installation that will be on view at Fisk later this year. Eistrup is committed to revitalizing the Bakongo cosmology, which radiates the core energy, philosophy, beauty, and strength still present in the African Diaspora, the Caribbean, and the United States.The first phase of Charging Change was presented at Documenta 15, Germany, where Eistrup collaborated with dancers and musicians from Portugal, Cape (or Cabo) Verde, and Brazil.

Eistrup wishes to thank EADJ, Engine for Art, Democracy and Justice, the Danish Arts Council, and the John Lewis Center for Social Justice Fisk University, who have sponsored this workshop and the coming Charging Change 2nd Movement. Eistrup also wishes to thank people from the community for their support: Dancers: Henry Alumona, Shabbaz, Thea Jones; Curator Selene Wendt; Dr. Cobra Mansa,

Professor Lakesha Moore, Visual Artist and Professor Magdalena Campos-Pons; The team at EADJ, Professor Jamaal Sheats, Professor Persephone Fentress, Professor Wilna Taylor, Professor C. Daniel Dawson, Dancer Aundra Lafayette, Professor Lena Winfree, Dean Adrienne Latham, Frank Inyima, Adrianna Carter, and Bryston Lee.

November 2022

'Boca Fala Tropa'. Video Art for a dance performance, Alacantra festival, Portugal.

What a pleasure and truly wonderful it has been to have been the video artist for Gio Lourenço's production BOCA FALA TROPA at Alacantra festival 11-27 Nov. 2022 Alacantra, Portugal.
From a body to several times where memory reinvents itself, Gio Lourenço builds, having the movements of Kuduro as a basis. On this biographical itinerary, the Corpo becomes an allegory from memory. The Kuduro emerges in the 90s, in Luanda, in the context of a civil war. The specific codes of this dance style, which expressed the Angolan daily, arrived in Portugal through the body and tapes of those who traveled between these two countries. It is at this time that the creator becomes a Kudurist; the dance steps, music, and aesthetics of this style established a coded language that allowed him to keep a link to Angola, where he was born and lived until the age of 5, the time when he moved to Portugal. Boca Fala Tropa proposes an identity territory displaced from a concrete geography - the transit between Angola and Portugal - starting from the Kuduro movements to cross elements of individual memory and their inevitable fictions with aspects of the collective memory.


September 2022

August 2022

May to June 2022
Galleri Image

Charging Change

Photo credit: Michelle Eistrup, Charging Change, Barreiro, Portugal.
Participant: Giovanni Lourenço

Opening: 6 May 4-6 pm
Artists: Michelle Eistrup (DK/JM), Juan Covelli (CO) Alinka Echeverria (UK/MX) and Alexandra Leykauf (DE). 

How do we relate to the heritage of images, objects, and histories that our society has been built on? And how do we make the best use of them in our time? Four artists attempt to answer these questions in a new exhibition at Galleri Image, which opens on May 6.

You cannot wipe the slate of history clean. As humans, we are products of history and must either reproduce or transform the images we have received from previous generations into something that we can build our future on. The exhibition New Tactics for Unseen Bodies shows four international, award-winning artists’ work with our visual heritage through photography, video and collage. The artworks in the exhibition all concern themselves with the relationship between visibility and invisibility through the photographic medium, since it is though photography that we can ensure our own visibility, which allows us access to power and identity. The artists in New Tactics for Unseen Bodies create surprising transformations of bodies, landscapes, and ancient objects as tactical suggestions for how to challenge the positions of archives and collections - and in all these artworks the human body is present.

Michelle Eistrup (DK/JM), Juan Covelli (CO), Alinka Echeverria (UK/MX) and Alexandra Leykauf (DE) work with issues that reach both within and beyond Europe's borders. Alinka Echeverria's work "Nicéphora" stems from her research in the Nicéphore Niépce Museum's vast collection of historical photographs. Through thousands of photographs, she discovered a problematic pattern: Women were not depicted as individuals but were staged from an underlying conception of womanhood. In the exhibition's impressive 7-metre-long collage work, she has gathered images of women from antiquity onwards, thus making the pattern visible.The work of Colombian artist Juan Covelli - a large video work created with machine learning - works more indirectly with photography. By feeding an algorithm with photographs of ancient Colombian gold figures, he has created the work "Speculative Treasures", which allows the Colombian cult figure of the Quimbaya culture to symbolically break out of a Spanish museum collection.

New Tactics for Unseen Bodies is part of a global movement that sensually and critically uses today's media and gazes to process our contemporary self-understanding as historical and bodily beings. The four artists in the exhibition have distinguished themselves internationally in their work with the photographic image and related media, such as sculpture, video, installation, and computer generated images. The exhibition is complemented by events in collaboration with LiteratureXchange and Art Week Aarhus.

Galleri Image is proud to present the exhibition, which is the second in a series of exhibitions entitled New Tactics and examines how visual artists create works that act as tactical responses to changes in the relationship between body, identity, and photography in our visual culture. New Tactics is curated by artist and MA in Visual Culture Kirstine Autzen. The first, New Tactics - Moving in a Soft Field (2018), examined the relationship between photography and the body in the post-photographic era, and was part of the Photo Biennial 2018. 

"Unseen body" - author and artist in conversation
Thursday 9 June, Galleri Image, Vestergade 29, 8000 Aarhus C
Come to Art Morning in Gallery Image. Here, Maja Lee Langvad, author of ‘SHE IS ANGRY - A Testimony of Transnational Adoption’, meets in a conversation with Michelle Eistrup, Danish-Jamaican visual artist. Both are concerned with how identity is formed and with what it means when home is in multiple locations. The event takes place in the exhibition New Tactics for Unseen Bodies, which includes Eistrup's works. Art Morning is a collaboration between Galleri Image and Art Week Aarhus. Free admission and morning coffee. 

Symposium: "New Tactics"
Thursday 16 June, Kunsthal Aarhus, J. M. Mørks Gade 13, 8000 Aarhus
How do artists push for our understanding of identity? The symposium expands the group exhibition New Tactics for Unseen Bodies and examines the highly topical relationship between body and image in our time. Our bodies are changed and perceived in a close exchange with the images of them and photography, as technology, undergoes extensive changes. The artists and curator behind the exhibition as well as associate professor and creativity researcher Jan Løhmann Stephensen will participate in the symposium. More participants will be announced later. The symposium is organised in a collaboration between Galleri Image, Art Week Aarhus, Aarhus University and Kunsthal Aarhus. Free admission.  

The exhibition is supported by The City of Aarhus, The Danish Arts Foundation, The Augustinus Foundation and The Grosserer L. F. Foght Foundation.

February to April 2022
PADA Studios, Barreiro, Portugal

March 2022

I am happy to announce the acquisition of 2 works by the Grassi museum in Leipzig, State of Saxony, Germany.
Installed as the first part of the Future Program REINVENTING GRASSI. SKD, funded by the “Initiative for Ethnological Collections” of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, aims at "extensively redesign our museum in the upcoming years". The corresponding sound collages/music in collaboration with composer Anders Juhl. Opening March 3rd, 2022.
"MICHELLE EISTRUP | We are very happy about the museum's purchase of the decolonial artworks “Breathing Archives" and "Amnesia" by Michelle Eistrup.
„Breathing Archives" highlights the violent ramifications the museum collecting policies brought to the communities concerned. This artwork was produced in close collaboration between the artist, our museum, and LIA- Leipzig International Art Programme. The corresponding sound collage was done in collaboration with the composer Anders Juhl.
The work "Amnesia" is a recorded poem with music. It contains thoughts by a citizen of a postcolonial background of a continent that denies its past.
In her work, Michelle Eistrup often engages with the physical and spiritual traces of colonialism.
See “Breathing Archives” from the 4th March 2022 onwards in our new exhibition.
Purchased thanks to the MUSEIS SAXONICIS USUI – friends of the Dresden State Art Collections.

February 2022
Hangar, Lisbon, Portugal. 1 week

October 2021

Still image from the video work "CPH: Junctions & Checkpoints" by visual artist Michelle Eistrup. The work can be experienced on the Amager Center's 1st floor from Saturday 28 August. Photo: Michelle Eistrup.


How can we express things that seem unspeakable? Collective traumas leave far-reaching traces in the memory of communities and shape people‘s feelings, thoughts, and social behavior. Everything is lost: world, self, and voice. This is where the poetic powers of resistance of literature open up perspectives: they reveal speaking as a moment of liberation and a way out of speechlessness. 

In the exhibition spaces, objects from the ethnological museums in Dresden and Leipzig enter into dialogue with works by artists and activists. A poetic trail accompanies and comments on the exhibition. As a result, a network is created in which spaces are opened up for action and speech. Central to this is the utopia of empathetic remembrance and a future that transcends speechlessness. Different forms and causes of speechlessness are examined from a differentiated yet global perspective: from the expropriation of the Australian Kaurna to the Shoah and the experiences of abuse of the so- called comfort women in the Second World War to the Yugoslavian wars.

 “Wordless – Falling Silent Loudly” in the Japanisches Palais from 16 April on, which is dedicated to exploring possible ways of shattering the phases of silence that result when people suffer collective trauma at Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden until 1 August 2021.

Curated by Barbara Höffer and Leontine Meijer van Mensch, with with Olaf Schlote, Yajima Tsukasa, Michelle Eistrup, Kollektiv „kaboom“, Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Museum der Trostfrauen, Kim Seo Kyung und Kim Un Seong, Silvina Der Meguerditchian, Kollektiv Kuwash & Beatrice Babin, unverblümt, Anna Brägger, Ute Puder

4th October -1st Feb 2020


BelONGING Vexillum (2019) Dimensions 118,38 x 90 cm. © Michelle Eistrup

Threshold(s) at CAMPCurated by Temi Odumosu


Michelle Eistrup (DK)
Yong Sun Gullach (DK)
Pia Arke (GL/DK)
Luanda Carneiro Jacoel (NO)
Saba Bereket Persson (SE)

Threshold(s) is a group exhibition, guest curated by British art historian and scholar Temi Odumosu, which explores experiences of displacement and exile by considering how people and their memories “crossover” and then inhabit land, culture, identities, structures, even language.

We engage with current immigration tensions and structural practices, but with a particular focus on the “inbetweenness” of movement as a state of being, which produces critical knowledge. The artists represented in Threshold(s) all have layered practices, including deep memory work, as well as, participatory and performative elements.

Situated in Nordic countries, they confront the geopolitical bordering impulse poetically, by exploring tipping points in their personal biographies that converge with wider political and historical contexts. Through them the threshold emerges as a ‘third place’, a site of/for transgression, a turning point, a leap, an ending, a beginning.

Immigration law is severe, and its lexicon of words and mechanisms for control have also inspired this intervention. In this vocabulary border crossings are characterised as transactional (status, visa, authorise, qualify, sponsor, admission), and people on the move are viewed as alien-others petitioning for rights of access to resources.

Here the “border” emerges as a loaded concept; described simply as a dividing line between territories, but negotiated as a shifting entity that is physical and psychological, sometimes rigid (a wall) and other times porous.

CAMP,  c/o Trampoline House, Thoravej 7, DK-2400 Copenhagen, DK.
CAMP invites the public to the opening of
Threshold(s) on Friday, Oct 4, 2019, from 2–5 pm. More information about the opening will be available soon.

27th & 28 April 2019

Michelle Eistrup is a visual artist, arts producer and instigator of artistic collaboration who lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. Michelle's art incorporates themes of identity, corporeality, faith, memory and post-colonialism, where her transnational background (Danish, Jamaican, American) is sometimes a point of departure. Currently, Eistrup is working on a film, Natango Zuzu (All Suns Forever). This piece will reunite artefacts of African culture and spirituality to stories and people in southern United States, and to the Kingdom of Kongo/Angola. The connection of these objects aims to both unite different environments and make the hidden meanings latent more visible. During her residency in LIA, Michelle will document some of their Nkisis'sfor the film, and work on developing a new print, that will participate in the Goethe sponsorship and program.

18 August 2018 - 7 January 2019.
In the Deep Underground and Up Above, Agwa, Perth Australia 2018.
In the Deep Underground and Up Above
, SPACED 3:north by southeast, Group Exhibition
Art Gallery Of Western Australia, Perth.

Spaced 3: north by southeast will comprise 11 residency-based projects that will take place in regional, remote and outer-urban locations in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Western Australia. Nordic artists will undertake their residencies in Western Australia, whilst Australian artists will be placed in the Nordic region. These residencies are positioned as the means to develop new works that will be created by each artist in response to their engagement with the social, environmental and historical contexts of the host communities.

Spaced 3: north by southeast will explore the significant cultural, social and environmental parallels between the Nordic countries and Australia.

Residency locations will be situated in regional, remote or outer-urban centres. Underlying this curatorial choice is the idea that even smaller communities with a strong sense of their unique identity are deeply affected by global economic, environmental and social forces. Due to this, they face challenges that are in some respects shared by other, seemingly unrelated communities across the world. The ultimate aim being to explore local issues in a global context through cross-cultural exchanges mediated by art.

This core program will be complemented by the spaced 3: Education and Community Access program presented by Act-Belong-Commit, symposia, and an extensive post-event publication.

Participating artists: Robyn Backen (NSW), Michelle Eistrup (Denmark), Gustav Hellberg (Sweden), Deborah Kelly (NSW), Danius Kesminas (VIC), Tor Lindstrand (Sweden), Heidi Lunabba (Finland), Dan McCabe (WA), Linda Persson (Sweden), Keg de Souza (NSW), Sam Smith (NSW).

Nordic partners: Baltic Art Center (Gotland, Sweden), FABRIKKEN for Kunst & Design (Copenhagen, Denmark), Kirsten Kjaers Museum (Thylejren, Denmark), Mustarinda (Hyrynsalmi, Finland), Nes Artist Residency (Skagaströnd, Iceland), Rejmyre Art LAB (Rejmyre, Sweden).

West Australian partners: ArtGeo Complex (Busselton), Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council (Ravensthorpe), Shire of Leonora (Leonora), Wangaree Community Centre/DADAA (Lancelin), Warlayirti Artists (Balgo).

BAT: Bridging Art +Text  publication

Read Article on KUNSTEN NU

BAT is a 3 volume publication edited by Michelle Eistrup and Annemari B Clausen,
produced by Anders Juhl & published in collaboration with The Karen Blixen Museum.
The overriding themes are: Spirituality, Black Identity and Aesthetics, Art &
Independence and Spaces for Art & Literature.

Contributers: Artists Christopher Cozier, Gillion Grantsaan, Ebony Patterson, Sasha Huber, Jeannette Ehlers, Charl
Landvreugd, Yo-Yo Gonthier, James Muriuki, Curators and Writers Carlos Moore,
Françoise Vergès, Britt Kramvig, Nicholas Laughlin, C. Daniel Dawson, Robert Farris
Thompson and many more.

BAT: Bridging Art +Text  publication at BOOK ART FAIRS
Upcoming Events
September Fotobok Gbg 18 

28-29 September
Fotobok Gbg 18 
Hasselblad Center

October Hamburger Bahnhof 

19–21 October 2018
Art Book Fair Berlin
Hamburger Bahnhof –
Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

November Kunsthalle Zurich.
Volumes 2018
13-24-25 November
Kunsthalle Zurich.ürich

Past Events
December 1st 2017
CAMP, Trampoline House
19–21 October 2018
Miss Read
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

Rensing Center, Rensing, South Carolina

Spinnerei, LIA Leipzig, April 2018.

Residency at Spinnerei, LIA Leipzig, April 2018.
Supported by the Danish Arts Council
Spaced 3, North by South, Residency Part 2, Deep in the Underground and Up Above, Busselton Australia. Jan to March 2018.
Supported by the Danish Arts Council , ARTGEO, BUSSELTON and SPACED 3.


CPH: JUNCTIONS & CHECKPOINTS, 2021 AMAGER CENTER The visual artist Michelle Eistrup draws on postcolonial references when she explores contemporary cultural nodes in the public space in the video work CPH: Junctions & Checkpoints (2021). Through a kaleidoscopic view of these places and spaces, Eistrup creates an artistic and critical commentary on the boundaries and non-boundaries that prevail between colonial architecture, contemporary movement patterns, and cultural nodes.


CPH: Junctions & Checkpoints (2021) is in itself a hub that is in constant motion. Here, historical sites and contemporary narratives and events are relentlessly intertwined through experimental imagery of rotating mosaics. Places and spaces formerly reserved for the elite are now occupied and used by people from other economic and cultural divides. These places appear at the same time as both recognizable and foreign, and it is, among other things, this duality that Eistrup works actively with. The transformative qualities of the video work appear in an almost hypnotic way through the constant movements, which at the same time function as a reflection of the cultural nodes that intertwine our past with our present.


The work continues methods that Eistrup developed for the Metropolis project Wal (k) ing Copenhagen 2020.

Excerpt of texts from manuscript from the Deep Underground and Up Above. Participants Rebecca Walker, Mitchella Hutchins, and Tessa Grimshaw. Narrator voice Michael Omoke.

In the Deep Underground and Up Above: Gloria Hill, Lola Garlett, and Tessa Grimshaw, Busselton, Western Australia 2018, photographic prints and rock installation print, SPACED 3, AGWA, Perth 2018.

In the Deep Underground and Up Above
“What is natural beauty? And what is controlled natural beauty? And where do the two divide? Is a swamp less beautiful than a vineyard? It is all a question of perception and aesthetics.

I can´t count the amount of times I heard people here speaking of the beauty of this environment, and then thinking wow… hardly anything is spoken about the fragility and brutality lying right below the surface. There is a type of propriety that even extends into the landscape, and there is a morality that is constantly there as inflection of right and wrong. The load of road signs with warnings is just one example. “Morality” or “settler-morality” is an aspect or code that seems to be a central question.” Narrator

“I was thinking of that in terms of even today, in this time you know 30 years later, how, while we’re trying to find ourselves in Busselton and work hard and who we are, we constantly will get a perception or a judgment, if people don’t know us very well on what they see with their eyes here right now. So there is a contrast between what people see and then what a reality is.” Rebecca

“Quite often you’ll get told that you have to be like this or you have to be like that or you have to have this belief.” Mitchella

“The divide and conquer mentality bears repercussion in terms of who can say what and speak what, and where you should go and not go.” Narrator

“I think the biggest thing with the Australian history, and it’s a perception from all the wider community, not any one color. There’s just not enough education. People just haven’t learnt enough to know enough to understand enough before they make those big, complex opinions that they have very little knowledge based on.” Mitchella
“They had lots of funny things about looking at my feet and saying, oh she’s got the Jones toes. Because apparently all our family, the second toe is a bit longer than the first toe and they call that Jones toe. So that was a bit of a laugh for them. And trying to work out who I was most alike, they were having fun pulling photos out and saying, see this is who you look like yeah they were really looking and showing… “ Tessa

Excerpt of texts from manuscript from the Deep Underground and Up Above. Participants Rebecca Walker, Mitchella Hutchins, and Tessa Grimshaw. Narrator voice Michael Omoke.

Exerpt of Rebecca text: REBECCA
Probably the most time consuming can be the fencing, it just takes I guess a kangaroo to go through and you can’t
have the electrics down or the cows make their way onto the main roads. And now Busselton is getting so …
Well we’re 2000 acres, so one of the biggest farms down here, in the South West. And then I live about a k down
Chapman Hill Road, so we’re all the way down that way as well. Just before the golf course. So we’re quite big for one
person. He’s out til late and coming and going, I’m just the person that’s constantly there for kid's school, sport, and
running around.

I was thinking of that in terms of even today, in this time you know 30 years later, how, while we’re trying to find ourselves in Busselton and work hard and who we are, we constantly will get a perception or a judgment, if people don’t know us very well on what they see with their eyes here right now. So there is a contrast between what people see and then what a reality is.

12 years we have had 1 escape and 1 trip away from this farm and this life and a lot of people have gone you’ve got this and that because of Alex’s family and I will go, actually extreme debt and detriment with Alex’s family.The reason we had 1 holiday and actually a car is because of my family.
So now I have learned to basically just blurt it out and say it because then as I can feel my way in discussions and conversations I can hear when people are eluding, kind of a judgment made in a comment, and I basically just blurt it out and say it (as it) is now.
A lot of that is breaking into a community and a town to kill that illusion that is far far from the truth in reality. They will see this big house and we basically say, we can’t hire anyone to help us yet, so we do all the cleaning and maintenance and gardens and everything ourselves with this dream that we will get a business up and hire someone.
We didn’t build and create this house, but we have to maintain it.
So every form of window you can see, even actually doors where there’s glass was covered in venetian blinds and they were all closed.
So it was very much a, I’ll look out,but you don’t look in. Very closed up. A lot of dolls and eyes everywhere, so you could sit in this one seat where we are now and you could almost count 12 faces that stared at you, so it quite an eerie, like you were being watched from the inside all the time. It carried that feeling in here and .. Just the energy was deep and dark.
I have had that said to me many times, “now you don’t say what goes on behind closed doors". "Oh no, of course not, I wont say anything.” I had to promise that all the time. To my mother in law.
I was sitting on that couch over there not long after being married and told I wasn’t Mrs. Walker. She said "I’m the Mrs. Walker of town*, I said, "it’s alright".
She would speak as if she was a pioneering woman. Alex has got memories of her going to speak at many lectures and functions of being a lady of the land. Kind of all the big stories of the Hendersons, all the big women on the stations, she linked herself to them, in fact took some of their stories of their lives and her mind is that’s how she lived. So in her world and her perception of who she was, she spoke as being a lady of the land and off a farm and worked very hard. Stopping cattle, working with cattle when, when… I just had to look at the ground ´cause I was like, uh, that didn’t happen.[}

The difference is that here in Western Australia, the environment is especially raw and sore as if you are stepping off right after a history.

Exerpt of Tessa text:TESSA
My name is Tessa and I was born in Broome so I’m a Bard or Bardi person and I identify as an Aboriginal person quite strongly.
And my Mum was a single lady and she had a daughter already and my Aunties looked after that daughter so she didn’t get taken away. I was born in a hospital and the moment I was born I was taken away and my Mum, all she ever saw was the top of my head. I had lots of dark hair.
And they had given her a twilight birth, where they make them very dopey.
While they were still under the influence of the drugs they brought her some papers in for her to sign and she thought they were birth certificate papers but in actual fact they were adoption papers.
I was left in the Broome hospital for 6 – 7 weeks, then brought down to Perth where I was picked up by 2 ladies. The older lady took care of me for a while so I was sort of in between child, wasn’t belonging to anybody at that stage. Then they decided, then that lady decided to adopt me into her family so the paperwork was finalized and I grew up with them. They are English and I was the youngest of 3 children, they had 2 sons.
The birth parents wouldn’t know where the child went and the adoptive parents wouldn’t know where the child came from. So it was just sealed. Sealed the documents.
My Grandmother also used to work in the hospital. One of the nurses at the hospital was good friends with her and the nurse let my Grandmother know that I was there and she would come around and check on me. But I’ve only found that out in the last 6 months.
It is only because I’ve decided that I’m old enough now to just to go and do it myself rather than wait for my M other to tell me exactly what had happened. She has only told me a portion of it and it really doesn’t fill the gaps.
She just doesn’t want to talk about it. If she’s not going to do it, I have to find other relatives that might be able to tell me. So I’ve had to take a step back from her because I feel I have a right to find out my history.
Oh, I think it’s very traumatic for her to sort of, well find out that my Father walked out the moment he was told he was expecting a child. So there’s this young girl expecting to have this relationship, he’s gone. Then to have the child taken away. There’s lots of harm that’s gone on for her.
She would talk about recent events and what she was doing, but nothing about the history. She just chose not to talk about it.

Pitch Molded Animability was recorded in Senegal and Trinidad, explores the idea of living on the edge of the urban, in the grey area between wild and tame, either in the peripheral areas of the city, or quite openly in the midst of the people. It explores connecting diverse landscapes together through portals of soundscapes. In the new work the donkeys are attached to the elements earth and water. Earth is represented in slowly flowing form of Trinidad's Pitch Lake, and water will be buoyant like memories.



The National Danish Arts Council and the International Danish Arts Council

NOTABOUTKARENBLIXEN Picture: NotAboutKarenBlixen 2010 Lambda dibon 120 x 83 cm.

From NAKB Performance, Mombasa, Kenya. Participants in Foto: James Muruiki, Gillion Grantsaan, Miriam Syowia Kyambi, Michelle Eistrup and Simora.Instigated by Gillion Grantsaan with NAKB group Courtesy of Oder, Curator, Michelle Eistrup.Too Long Are Our Memories + Borders by Michelle Eistrup and James Muruiki(Kenya)


NotAboutKarenBlixen co-curated with Brooke Minto


KAREN BLIXEN MUSEUM, Rungstedlund, Denmark, My World Images Festival 2010

Participating Artists:

Gillion Grantsaan (DK) in cooperation with Ato Malinda (Kenya); Søren Assenholt (DK)in cooperation with Miriam Syowia Kyambi (Kenya); Michelle Eistrup (DK),in cooperation with James Muruiki (Kenya) Stefan Saffer (Germany) 

Lesley-Ann Brown (DK) is associated with the project as performance writer.


RaMoMA, Kenya.

Participating Artists:

Gillion Grantsaan (DK) in cooperation with Ato Malinda (Kenya);Michelle Eistrup (DK),in cooperation with James Muruiki (Kenya)


NotAboutKarenBlixen is a long-term collaborative project between three Kenyan artists, three Danish artists, and a German artist working in various media. For the participating artists, the NotAboutKarenBlixen project has offered a unique opportunity to create works of art which incorporate impulses from Denmark and Kenya. • Working in pairs, the artists started their projects in Denmark at the Danish Art Workshops in snow-covered Denmark in February. The work was continued in Nairobi in June in what was, for the Danish participants, unexpectedly cold Kenyan winter weather. Parts of the projects created by these ‘art-duos’ have been exhibited at the RaMoMa Museum of Modern Art in Nairobi in July 2010.

• The participating artists represent considerable international experience, with exhibition activities in USA, England, Continental Europe and partsof Asia and Africa. • “We hope through collaboration to extend ourselves and to relearn, reevaluate the past in a present context. The collaboration is alsobased on medium and experimentation. The artists had to learn the other’s language, an essential tool for gaining knowledge and understanding of the other.”– explains curator and artist Michelle Eistrup. • The title, NotAboutKarenBlixen, signals that this exhibition is not directly about Karen Blixen. Not-AboutKarenBlixen uses the name of Karen Blixen to inspire reflection on present and future relations between Europe and Africa. It illuminates current and historic issues through contemporary art media and performance. The artists use the collaboration in pairs to explore Karen Blixen´s legacy and its significance in a postcolonial context. • Placing the exhibition project at Rungstedlund in the exhibition rooms and in the front yard of the house where Karen Blixen was born adds a special quality to the project. It links Rungstedlund to the farm at Ngong Hills in Kenya. This year – 125 years after Karen Blixen was born – the focus of the museum is on Africa. • We hope to contribute to a wider understanding of Kenya’s and Denmark´s postcolonial heritage through the artistic process and modern media in art, such as photography, video, sound installation and performance.


This Particular Masquerade by M.Eistrup

FOUR lambdaprint prints, 2x  300 x 4.1 x 24.1 cm and 2 x 600 x 4.1 x 24.1 cm.

INSTALLED as  prints or in Wenge lightboxes.

First Exhibited at AMNESIA, Haugaur Museum, Vestfold, Trømso, Norway, (2013) Curator of Exhibit:Grethe Hald.

Exhibited at FORGOTTEN, Possesion: Art, Power and Black Womanhood, Curated by Dr. Temi Odomosu,
New Shelter Plan Artspace, Cph, DK.(2014)

Generous  SUPPORT and FUNDING comes from:

The National Danish Arts Council and the International Danish Arts Counci towards the production of This Particular Masquerade, Unmasked and towards residency at Alice Yard in Trinidad.


How can I see you when you do not see me?
How can you imagine that I want to loose my color, my culture to your norms of validity, which means
being like you. How can you forget where you were and why I am here. How can you just not touch on
this part of your history, caress it and just for a moment let the pain seep in. Everything I tough, caress, and
validate around me in this foreign land denies my existence and yet it is there

Extract of Amnesia Sound_M.Eistrup Production: Anders Juhl

In 2005, the national museums of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland curated an exhibition “The Congo and the North”,based on 40,000 objects. Rais Boneza comments the following in ’Rethinking Nordic Colonialism (2006):

“It is stupefying that the Nordic countries have decided to exhibit “their” trophies, taken brutally from the people of the Congo without concern or any consultation with the Democratic Republic of Congo” ”We remember that under itsabusive colonization by Belgium, the population of the Congo, then estimated to 20 million people, decreased to the half. It was during that period that Nordic missionaries, members of the armed forces, seafarers and other adventurers took part in the pillage of the country”.

Boneza demonstrate that these national institutions stepped seriously away from reflecting on the history in this exhibit where they overlooked how the objects were initially acquired. Can their mistake be an grave example of a national Amnesia, which forms the basis of the atmosphere that we who come from a different background/history daily reside and move in?

My work is a response to what I perceive as a woman both of black ancestry and parentage who lives in a Nordic culture where a selective view of world history is the rule - and where real knowledge about Scandinavia’s relation to black people during the colonial period is the exception. Nowadays, it seems there is a great focus on Nordic charity for developing countries, and here again, the countries involved overlook the economic advantages being acquired through their relationships with these parts of the world.


Amnesia by Grethe Hald 

Exerpt from catalog

'Commemorative exhibitions jog our memories. Historical societies keep the past alive in their publications,and history lives on in cinema and theatre'. 

'Amnesia: this Greek word for forgetfulness is also used for a condition that embraces nuances of exposure and concealment.Amnesia is suffered first and foremost by those who lose their memory, but indirectly the family and friends of someone afflicted with dementia are harshly affected. The causes of memory loss can be many and complex. Disease, accidents, and trauma may play a part, but it may also be linked to repression, the brain inducing temporaryamnesia to keep out unwanted impulses for a period of healing.

Amnesia brings together eight leading Nordic artists who offer their highly individual takes on the many-faceted condition of forgetfulness. Some are pre-existing works, others have been created or further developed for this exhibition. The artists have been free to interpret the open title in any way they wish. As are the public to interpret the works.

See AMNESIA Catalog

Possession by Temi Odumosu

1 the state of having, owning, or controlling something
2 an item of legal property; something belonging to a person, group or
political entity (i.e the government)
3 the state of being controlled by (or under the influence of) a demon,
spirit, idea or intense emotion

“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's
fantasies for me and eaten alive.” - Audre Lorde

“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you” - Maya Angelou
This exhibition showcases the work of 12 international Black women artists, whose work explores multiple concepts of being and belonging.Through deeply personal expressions these artists reflect on Black womanhood as a dynamic archive of knowledge, formed of flesh, spirit and memory. In mixed media practices and against the backdrop of their own biographies, they offer rare and beautiful insights into what it means to travel with this identity through public and private spaces, to dare to speak
where voices are often subdued or silenced, and to honour ancestral inheritances as creators of art. Whilst clearly confronting the enduring legacies of slavery and colonialismexperienced in their own lives, these artists also poetically demonstrate the
healing and transformative power of sharing ones own story with a community of witnesses.


Too Long Are Our Memories + Borders by Michelle Eistrup and James Muriuki(Kenya).

Single Channel Video: 9 mins, Exhibition Format: Projection + Screen. Light Box 12 meters x 15 cm x 15 cm installation adjusted to the space.
First Exhibited at NotAboutKarenBlixen,  Karen Blixen Museum, (2010) Curator of Exhibit: Michelle Eistrup + Brooke Minto (U.S.A.)
Exhibited at Naturama, Svendborg, Fyn, (2012). Curator of Exhibit: Thomas Bjørneboe Berg
Exhibited at IKM, Oslo, Norway(2012).Organizer: Grethe Hald(Norway)

Funded by the MY WORLD IMAGES 2010 and DCCD, INTERNATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL and NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL towards the production and travel of Too Long Are Our Memories, Not About Karen Blixen, and Copenhagen’s Municipality of Art and Culture Fund.
STATENS VÆRKSTEDER FOR KUNST OG HÅNDVÆRK I GAMMEL DOK towards the production of Wild as the Wind, and Too Long are Our Memories.

In the video, Too Long Are Our Memories, an old black doll sits in a mantle, her eyes are nearly gone, a white and brown deer slope in between the fantasy and the imaginary, a girl picks coffee and a seer stands with a mirror reflecting the woody white wintery landscape around him. A voice of memories from another time slips in and out of the passages: ‘The Kenyans could not plant coffee, they could not plant sisal…’. Dudley Thompson, the lawyer who assembled the primary defence team of Kenyatta, recollects and describes the tension between the British colonizers and Kenyans. Old pictures on a wall refer to the past, the Kenyan Railway, royalty, Mombasa, versus the workers, the builders, who died to construct that lunatic line.
The piece is a meditation on the interaction and shifts that exist between these realities and questions our historical perspectives in connection to those times. There is redemption as well, we see three black workers reclaiming their train, dancing in and out of its remains to the symbolic music of freedom: jazz and ska. The souls of colonial maids and workers are suspended over the train and walk through different time dimensions arriving today as immigrants in the cold North, finding balance on the sharp cliff edges of this past. Too Long Are Our Memories speeds, splices and interweaves many visual layers and sounds, thereby creating imaginary spaces - or worlds - where the paths of dislocation and migration lead humans in search of a future.
Borders is a light-box installation that explores the reality and metaphor imagined in both time and space. “Through memories, connections, looped borders, hedges, pathways, habitats are intertwined. In these light boxes we show different notions of land, division and border, open or hidden. Borders reflect on the relation between spaces from the outer to the inner and the areas in between them. In general, borders indicate a division, a difference. Geographical borders exist in reality, while there are invisible borders between concepts such as multi-culture and monoculture, progress and tradition, present and past…“ – says Michelle Eistrup.


About James Muruiki
James Muriuki works as a photographer, graphic designer and was a curator at the Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art (RaMoMA), Nairobi, where he worked since it’s opening in 2001. In 2010, he, together with Miriam Syowia Kyambi and Dr. Kivubiro Tabawebbula founded 3Collect, an artist’s collective engaging the curatorial practice, under which he works besides other individual curatorial engagements.
He says, “Over time, I have taken interest in exploration of gaps and spaces that are left by using photography and other art media. I endeavor to use photography as a medium of practicing art, either alone or collaboratively, rather than as a photographer. This has extended from photographic experiments to using photo-based medium and new digital media with a personal attitude and aesthetic. The art is a personal journey that has kept proving dynamic and yet static in many ways within my environment.”
Recently James Muriuki was awarded 2nd prize in 4th Photoafrica contest, which took place within 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa. He had a retrospective at Goethe Institute in Nairobi, is part of the Walther Collection in Ulm, Germany and he has exhibited in Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, curated by Okwui Enwezor. James lives and works in Nairobi and his work has been exhibited and collected in Kenya, South Africa, USA, Denmark, Spain, and Germany among other countries.



NotAboutKarenBlixen evolved as a long-term collaborative project between three Kenyan artists, three Danish artists, and a German artist, working in various media. For the participating artists, the NotAboutKarenBlixen project offered a unique opportunity to create works of art, which incorporate impulses from Denmark and Kenya.The artists started their projects in Denmark at the Danish Art Workshops in snow-covered Denmark in February, working in cross-national pairs. Their collaboration was continued in Nairobi in June in what was, for the Danish participants, an unexpectedly cold Kenyan winter. Works created by these ‘art-duos’ have been exhibited at the RaMoMA Museum of Modern Art in Nairobi in July 2010 and at the Karen Blixen Museum Sept – Nov. 2010. The entire project was curated by curator and artist Michelle Eistrup(Dk/Jamaica) and Brooke Minto(USA)

“We hope through collaboration to extend ourselves and to relearn, re-evaluate the past in a present context. The collaboration is also based on medium and experimentation. The artists had to learn the other’s artistic language, an essential tool for gaining knowledge and understanding of the other”– explains Michelle Eistrup. The title, NotAboutKarenBlixen, signals that this exhibition is not directly about Karen Blixen. The exhibition uses the name of Karen Blixen to inspire both artists and audience to reflect on present and future relations between Europe and Africa. It illuminates current and historic issues through contemporary art media and performance. Thus the work and legacy of Karen Blixen becomes a catalyst for a bridging Danish and Kenyan culture, or, as Michelle Eistrup puts it: “We wish to contribute to a wider understanding of Kenya’s and Denmark´s postcolonial heritage through the artistic process and modern media in art, such as photography, video, sound installation and performance”.


WILD AS THE WIND by Michelle Eistrup

6 Prints x 300 x 79,4 cm , 2010 +2014 + 1 Single Channel Video, Wild as the Wind, Green Curtain.

Generous SUPPORT and FUNDING comes from:


Wild as the Wind by M.Eistrup

Single Channel Video 8 mins.

Exhibited at Pingyao Film Festival, 2014 The Danish National Museum of Arts, Children's Exhibition,Statens Museum For Kunst, 2011, and Galleri Image 2010.


HORSE POWER by Mark Le Fanu

Art begins with the depiction of animals. The caves of Lascaux and Chauvet are decorated with images not of hunters, but of the beasts which the caves’ primitive inhabitants hunted, lived with and dreamt about. The mystery of living in the world with creatures besides ourselves (creatures with whom we communicate, but not by language) has been a more or less fundamental motif in art since art began.

And among all the beasts – the lions and gryphons and eagles and elephants and oxen – perhaps none so important, so iconic as the horse. From the friezes of the Parthenon, through the statues of mounted warriors and victors that have given grandeur and meaning to public spaces since the renaissance, down to those amazing romantic canvases of artists such as Rubens, Géricault and Delacroix, the horse, in art, has transfixed man’s collective imagination. There seems to be something uniquely stirring about the way that, while harness-able to human need, the animal retains in a deeper sense its mystery, pride and inviolability.

These are some of the attributes observable in Michelle Eistrup’s images of wild horses taken over a two year period on the Danish island of Læsø. She approaches the recording task not as a professional wild-life photographer intent on  some captioned magazine article (excellent as such photo-features sometimes are), but as a free-floating artist, alert to the mythic quality of the animal she is photographing, yet in a loose and unforced way that avoids the tricks of postmodernist games-playing. There is a gentle humour at work throughout these images, one might even call it a humanism – though humans are conspicuously absent. The animals are left to their own devices, to graze or gambol, to nuzzle and be nuzzled; or merely to scratch their itchy parts against the branches of the island’s seaside forests.

Still, the artist’s proper concern with form is discernible in several ways, above all in the subtle play of contrasts that weave in and out of Eistrup’s photographs: snow with sand, darkness with light, stillness with movement, repose with wakefulness. Taken by themselves the pictures are extraordinarily beautiful; they have an unforced brilliancy -  sober and unshowy without being tiresomely “minimalist”.

Once you have paused in front of these static images, a further treat lies in store for the gallery visitor behind the thick black curtains that divide the central exhibition space in two. Eistrup is as good at video-photography as she is at traditional stills work, reminding us that at a certain stage in the history of art there emerged the possibility of our contemplating not just the frozen image of exotic animals (the original cave paintings, as it were) but their movement too. It was, after all,  the experimental photographs of Eadward Muybridge – one of the principal aims of which was to discover the lineaments of a horse’s galloping motion – that paved the way for the modern art form of cinema. Eistrup’s horses are closer to the riderless beasts of Tarkovsky and Fellini than they are to the more familiar mounts of the Hollywood Western – though the Western too, of course, has lovely images of horses on the roam; horses in landscape, free and untrammeled.

Installations are now so much a part of gallery art that one tends to take them for granted. But Eistrup’s installation here is exemplary, combining as it does experimentalism of form (it is not a “movie” or narrative) with a pleasingly uncomplicated readability.  The effect communicated is one of delicate intelligence, the hallmark of this artist’s work. Eistrup’s images have the integrity of someone who watches closely over a substantial period of time; who effaces herself in front of the object, rather than trying to force upon it an outside interpretation. Such selfless attention to process is rare in contemporary art, where (at least until recently) “gesture” and “concept” have tended to rule supreme.   

 APPETIZER by Housing Spirits


2001 Take OFF20:01, The Museum of Modern Art Aarhus, Dk. 

2000 Momentum, Nordic Biennual for artists, Moss, Norway. 2000. Crossing Boundaries, International Docu.filmfestival, Cph, 2000.

1999 Blick, video show, The Museum of Modern Art, STHM, Sv. Private Parts, The State Museum of Modern Art, Cph, 1999.



MAMI WATA by Housing Spirits

2001 Take OFF20:01, Museum of Modern Art Aarhus, Dk. 
2000 Exit graduateshow, Kunstforeningen Gl.strand, Cph.
2000 Momentum, Biennal for Young artists, Moss, N. 2000.
2000 Selected Works, Shoot, Video/Film Festival, Kyikarmyndir,
Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland.
2000 Stand Art Performance Festival, Gotenborg, Sv. 
2000 Shoot, video/film program, Malmø Kunsthal, Sv.