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“Pulp” Preview: Salem Mekuria September 2, 2009

Posted by claralieu in artists.
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A preview of a work that will be in “Pulp: Works on Paper by the Studio Art Faculty“:  “IMAGinING TOBIA”, a triptych video installation by Salem Mekuria.    Read her artist statement below the image.

Salem Mekuria

IMAGinING TOBIA is a triptych video installation synchronized to present vivid images of the Ethiopian cultural and physical landscapes.

September 2007 was the beginning of Ethiopia’s Third Millennium. In celebration of this milestone, I offer IMAGinING TOBIA as a mirror on which to reflect issues confronting the nation, and as a space in which to meditate on the disjunction between our “real” and imagined knowledge of Ethiopia and its multi-faceted history.

As an Ethiopian in the diaspora, I examine my own gaze on my native land as I take in impressions of the variety and diversity of the landscape and its people. In this way, TOBIA (a vernacular pronunciation for Ethiopia) represents a travelogue recorded by a hybridized explorer’s camera, then layered and juxtaposed in infinite ways to create a multitude of meanings and associations. The triptych is a reference to Ethiopia’s traditional religious art.  By inviting viewers to engage with fast moving images on multiple channels I show the simultaneous existence of the old and the new while giving primacy to images over words.-Salem Mekuria.

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