Theresa Weber

Theresa Weber was born in Düsseldorf in 1996 and lives and works in North Rhine-Westphalia and London.

Through multi-disciplinary installations and collaborative performances, the artist seeks to question existing power hierarchies and fixed categorizations. With a dynamic approach her works often refer to existing mythologies and historical research fields, which are communicated through dense collages and sculptural networks. These are mostly made out of culturally loaded materials that engage with the body from an anti-colonial perspective and reflect on hybrid identities. Her practice exemplifies the constant transformation within every tradition, which is represented through contemporary body-marks and archival techniques. On the dynamic field between transparency and opacity, Weber’s practice creates space for strength and resilience through nuances and fragility.


Cycles of Unmasking Entanglements
Somerset House, London
21 June – 31 October 2023

This organic sculpture connects the levels of the hierarchical stairwell at Somerset House and refers to Caribbean Carnival and historical Masquerades.

For this year’s Morgan Stanley commission at Somerset House in London, Theresa Weber looked at the way imperial narratives were designed into the architecture of the former royal palace and navy base. The hierarchical design of the Stamp Stairwell develops from simple downstairs for the staff towards decorated upstairs for the upper class. The artist’s non-hierarchical sculpture however connects the levels through an organic network.

Weber refer to Masquerades that took place at Somerset House starting in 1605 with the first piece “Masque of Blackness“ that was performed with blackface makeup. Costume materials such as vibrant fabrics and synthetic hair are references to Caribbean Carnival as reclamation in this context. By working with healing and community based gestures, such as braiding, wrapping, knotting, and weaving, she abstracted the shapes of nature.

A collaborative performance with a sound artist and several performers wearing Weber’s handmade costumes took place on this year’s summer solstice.

Photos by Reinis Lismanis and  Anne Tetzlaff

Cosmic Momento
Moltkerei Werkstatt e.V., Cologne
3 September – 17 October 2021

A floating architecture as deconstruction of given structures, reflecting the indigo blue, the Western history of death masks and collective ancestry.

The floor piece Anima Mundi is a floating river with blue tiles and face casts. Indigo blue has traveled the world through globalization and was produced in slave labour in the Caribbean. Blue means spirituality and nostalgia, as it is the color of the sea and the sky.
The tiles are not part of an architecture, but think of the deconstruction of given structures.
Death masks used to be common in order to archive important individuals in Western history.

For this work Theresa Weber casted the faces of living people that are close to her, using translucent silicone with imbedded ornaments such as rosaries, nails, glitter or pearls. Facing the death masks for important individuals in Western history, these are memorial masks of the living in thought of our collective ancestry. The opacity of the silicone with nostalgic ornaments as counter part to their clean white plaster.

Photos by Bernhard Adams

Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund Goes Black Festival
14 August 2021

This collaborative performance reflects on social performance, digging into what gives meaning to the Afro-German experience that is yet to be defined.

This collaborative performance between Theresa Weber and Anys Reimann reflects on social performance through prosthetic elements that give meaning to the body. Both our sculptural works deform and transform the body, communicating the unfixed hybrid being as unfinished and always in the making.

The performance consists of a video projection, a futuristic sound piece by musician Lukas Weber, and the performers moving bodies that create shadows and changes in the space. Throughout the 20 minutes, the objects on the ground become parts of the two performers’ bodes, as they activate them with choreographed gestures, to then install them on the hanging chains, which refer to “Waschkauen“, the dressing rooms in coal mines that are typical for this area of West Germany. Once they left the space the performers’ body traces remained. With this performance, they dug into what gives meaning to the Afro-German experience, which is not defined and yet to be formulated.

Photos by Jens Franke

Woven Memories
Curated by Rebekka Seubert
Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund
19 June – 5 September 2021

The exhibition Woven Memories follows a trail between present and past in which personal, social and global events interweave. Through painting and installation, Theresa Weber examines cultural hybridisation, ideals of beauty and multiply coded symbols of belonging.

Embedded in a playfully dystopian architectural ruin of bricks and Lianas (2019) that causes interior and exterior to merge, various wall objects give rise to a landscape with points of spatial and temporal depth. Some of the wall fragments also function as presentation surfaces, as do metal constructions that resemble hammock frames, or the lianas in which objects are entwined.

Photos by Jens Franke

Sweet Lies
Ludwig Forum Aachen
19 June – 12 September 2021

In response to Basquiat‘s triptych Ishtar, Theresa Weber developed works that refer to the semitic Goddess of war and femininity in connection to the Ishtar Gate.

The wallpaper weaves together four elements: The historical stone sculpture of Ishtar embraces her muscles and curves. The blue tiles are parts of the Ishtar Gate that has been requested back from Iraq several times. The lion of Judah, a depiction on the gate which is linked to Rastafarian religion. A selfie has been transformed with an instagram filter that makes my face look like a mask.

The three altars archive elements in resin on metal constructions: Blue tiles with prints of the Lion of Judah deal with the responsibility of German institutions. Synthetic hair and artificial nails represent Ishtar’s strength through feminine attributes. Male and female body casts and silicone pads are connected to the Goddess´ ability to transform between male and female, her fluidity and transformation.

Photos by Simon Vogel