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Seeds and Souls in Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Els  Roelandt

Praktische info

‘Seeds and Souls’, through 18 February 2024, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen,

The exhibition ‘Seeds and Souls’, curated by Christine Eyene, explores connections between botanical histories, colonial legacies and diasporic experiences. The title of the show is meant to be understood both literally and metaphorically. ‘Seeds and Souls’ is presented at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, which was built in the late nineteenth century on the grounds of Copenhagen’s then botanical garden. Eyene interprets this coincidence as a call from ancestors imploring her to investigate and bring forward the untold histories of the plants present in the garden. The participating artists, most of whom have dual heritage, are all from regions where plants and resources have been extracted for transport, with impacts that continue to reverberate around the globe. The artworks reflect on the ideas and consequences of this extraction, consumption and transplantation through various forms of tangible and immaterial excavations, the uncovering of overlooked and sometimes contentious histories, and through ‘re-rooting’ as a method of reclaiming agency over these histories and cultural expressions. Eyene has been researching modern and contemporary South African art since the late 1990s, specialising in the stories of artists in exile during Apartheid and their cultural interactions with the Black Diaspora in France and England. She is well known throughout Europe for her thoroughly researched exhibitions that present emerging artists from the Black Diaspora. In ‘Seeds and Souls’ includes new works by Brook Andrew, Shiraz Bayjoo, Sonia Boyce, Ishita Chakraborty, Annalee Davis, Michelle Eistrup, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Linda Lamignan and Yvon Ngassam.

Installation view ‘Seeds and Souls’, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2023–2024, courtesy Shiraz Bayjoo, photo David Stjernholm