Esben Weile Kjær

Esben Weile Kjær, born 1992, graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2022. He also has a background as a DJ and a degree in Music Management from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC). In his performances, installations and sculptures, he examines identity among his own generation and explores the role of popular culture and technology in determining our experience of community and freedom. Esben Weile Kjær has had several solo shows, including at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and at Copenhagen Contemporary, and has shown his works internationally at Museum Tinguely in Basel, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Berghain in Berlin. Esben Weile Kjær’s exhibition BUTTERFLY! is on view now at Arken – Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. In 2022, he received the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation’s talent award.


Broadcasted live on social networks, BURN! oscillates between energy and exhaustion. Seizing on a medium that is both fascinating and dangerous, fire, Esben Weile Kjær offers a spectacular and strenuous performance. With a choreography of gestures where embrace and veneer alternate, he appropriates both the virile codes of firefighters while diverting them, as well as those of pop culture and contemporary art. BURN! sees elements from youth culture and everyday structures come together in a theatrical play of events. The fire fighter is present as a symbol of diverse implications where relief, order and fetishization can all be applied. This relationship between sincerity, necessity and objectification suggests a multidimensional view of our everyday reality where seemingly genuine actions are often fronts for deeper seated issues or straight up gains.