‘Say It Loud!’ A Postmigrant Perspective on Postcolonial Critique in Contemporary Art
This chapter develops a postmigrant frame of analysis in interaction with a case study of Danish-Caribbean artist Jeannette Ehlers’s performance Whip It Good (2013) as a multilayered form of postmigrant, decolonial, postcolonial and institutional critique. It identifies important connections and differences between postmigrant and postcolonial perspectives and combines these perspectives to create a productive interpretive framework. The chapter aims to show that studying the critical analysis undertaken by artists in their works can provide scholars from many different fields with the insights needed to develop fresh research perspectives on issues of migration, postmigration, racialized bodily experience, the subversion of stereotypes and hegemonic forms of representation, the ‘decolonization of the mind’, and more. Accordingly, the analysis of Ehlers’s work has a particular focus on the rewriting of history through art and on issues of race, whiteness, institutional discrimination, slavery and colonialism, particularly the history of Danish colonialism. Furthermore, it briefly contextualizes Ehlers’s work historically by linking it to the idea of the postmigrant condition and recent developments in Denmark.