“Pulp” Preview: Salem Mekuria September 2, 2009Posted by claralieu in artists.
Tags: ethiopia, installation, video
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.