Citizen X – Human, Nature, and Robot Rights

In the spring of 2017, Øregaard Museum marks the centenary of the sale of the Danish West Indies to the United States with the exhibition Citizen X – Human, Nature, and Robot Rights. The colony was sold following a public referendum in Denmark, although the inhabitants of the islands were not themselves given the vote. In a way the local citizens were thus traded on, much like the West African people who were originally transported to the islands as part of the transatlantic slave trade. The exhibition brings the Enlightenment debate over slavery into the present day, where continued discussion of citizen and human rights are increasingly entwined with questions about nature and technology.


Against the museum’s historical backdrop, seven contemporary artists introduce new and diverse voices into the present day marked by globalised modes of dominance, exploitation, inclusion and exclusion. Underlying the exhibition is Øregaard’s history as a summer residence for the wealthy merchant Johannes Søbøtker (1776-1854), who was a fourth generation plantation owner in the Danish West Indies. Unique among Danish art museums, Øregaard is thus a monument to the West Indian connection in Danish colonial history. The exhibition also includes a selection of Danish colonial-era portraits as well as a work by Dutch painter Albert Eckhout (1610-1665), who was among the first European painters to paint scenes from the New World.


Participating artists
Ajay Kurian (f. 1984), USA; Albert Eckhout (ca. 1610-1665), NL; C.W. Eckersberg (1783-1853), DK; Christopher Kulendran Thomas (f. 1979), UK; DIS (2010), USA; Jens Juel (1745-1802), DK; Masar Sohail (f. 1982), DK/IQ; Veit Laurent Kurz (f. 1985), D; Pedro Neves Marques (f.1985), PR and Tabita Rezaire, (f. 1989), FR/DK/SA.


The exhibition is curated by Toke Lykkeberg in collaboration with Lotte Nishanthi Winther.