Independent multidisciplinary artist working with performance and installation rooted in the fundamentals of a photographic and research based practice. Currently researching correlations between Recovery and Creativity --- BFA graduate from Gerrit Rietveld Academy 2022. Currently based in Copenhagen. Part of Lurendrejen artist collective and studio space in Copenhagen. Board member for Foreningen Fatamorgana.
Focusing on topics of identity, mental health, body politics, gender and social dynamics, with perspectives from personal accounts as well as grounded in feminist theory. Motivated by examining experiences that cannot be fixed in binary opposites: always diverse and fluid, both powerful and painful, I seek to express and disclose the incongruity, which often ends up captured in the image of an ever-changing self-portrait. Making art liberatory for me: a way of radicalising (self-)care, and to create spaces for temporal togetherness and solidarity.
Through my research, I explore strategies towards a liberatory practice, surviving in spite of gendering norms, in spite of vulnerability, and the possibilities of finding acceptance with oneself in contractiction to ones surroundings. My favourite writers and artists (among others) include Judith Butler, Mieke Bal, Virginie Despentes, Hannah Wilke.
In a recent collaboration with filmmaker Rosa Lie, we explore the fictional phenomena and ungrateful truth that is the Young-Girl. We aim towards exposing the subconscious self-censorship that occur in front of the camera, and elsewhere, when we are susceptible to an exterior gaze.
“I am in control of when and where these degrading, disregarding, and simplifying eyes look at me,” writes Emma, Es Gandrup’s alter ego. Hyper feminine Emma, who is performing sugar dating, gives an account of impersonating an image, that of a young girl. “When a Young-Girl giggles, she is working,” Tiqqun wrote. Emma’s opacity in handling exhaustion and empowerment is only one of the tools that the artist employs to explore an imaginary of projected femininity through the layers and contradictions of patriarchy.
Es Gandrup's bodies of work enlarge with softness a kaleidoscopic imaginary of false gender binaries. It does so by bringing into the room representations of selves to share and negotiate the space with. The more or less temporal body / the sheer image of the body / the projecting body / the heavy texture of the body / the warmth of the body; they all gather and surround themselves with penetrable textiles, heartbeats, light and affect. A sort of self-portraying that bears witness to its capacities and documentations in multiple phases, gender spectrums, some more crystallized by societal norms, some more porous and comforting.