To Muse: opening of a collective exhibition of contemporary art Event In Ethiopia Cover Image - ArifEvents
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To Muse: opening of a collective exhibition of contemporary art

Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia 129 Views

The Alliance Ethio-Française of Addis-Ababa is a non-profit organization fostering cultural and linguistic exchanges between France and Ethiopia since 1907. Its main mission is teachi...

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Event Opened

Sep 19, 2019 6:00PM

Event Closed

Sep 19, 2019 8:00PM
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About Event

As part of the "European Heritage Days", we are excited to open an exhibition that traces back 20+ years of Alliance's contemporary art collection.

Curated by Mifta Zeleke, the show will present the work of over 20 Ethiopian visual artists that have made a mark on our minds!

"To Muse…"
A chance to look back to the past is more important to a country like Ethiopia where there is a lot at stake to examine. Aspects of Ethiopia's modern and contemporary history are one of the areas where such a scrutiny becomes relevant as it's the least comprehensively studied, researched, theorized and recorded. Such an abyss manifests apparent consequences on our contemporary life as well as on our future. This is also true to the modern and contemporary art history of Ethiopia. Hence, taking a breath to pay proper attention to what was then in the past helps us to muse on the milieu of the art in our context.
This exhibition "To Muse…" which serves as a pinhole to try to recapture the recent past of Ethiopia's modern and contemporary art attempts to address an important concept. Among many other relevant issues; the show enables us to scrutinize the essences of exhibition history along with the role of the artist in portraying the time or period that he/she lived and the role of institutions and their archives in Ethiopia's modern and contemporary art history.
The selected works presented in the exhibit constitute nearly three decades of Alliance Ethio-Francaise's art collection. The works are acquired in the form of donation to Alliance from the artists who exhibited at its fabulous exhibition space though there could be very rare exceptions as to some of the acquisitions. The exhibition "To Muse…" couldn't, however, provide a full picture of what was exhibited in the space within the stated time period. This is due to the fact that some donated paintings are lost or migrated whereas some couldn't actually represent the notions of the exhibits from which they are acquired from. But, this collection by far remains to be the only means to examine the exhibition history of Ethiopia's contemporary art. So, why is exhibition history important? Exhibitions are one of the vital sites for the production of knowledge. It's evident that there are still few exhibition spaces where artists could present their works which dictates that these limited exhibitions played a critical role to produce knowledge. Consequently, being able to look back to the history of exhibitions is to find a way to historicize the notions of the exhibitions and reproduce knowledge. Additionally, it's through exhibition history that we could analyze the role of the artist in recording the thoughts, the history and conditions of his or her time. By carefully scrutinizing the history of exhibitions; we could also be able to reveal the role of artists and their influence on society, history and their time. We can actually mention some examples from the exhibition history at the Alliance if there is time and space to do so.
To go through all these and to materialize the wealth of exhibition history in Ethiopia's contemporary art context needs a wider and deeper research. That is why this exhibition is titled "To Muse…" so that we SHOULD keep on thinking on what was then. Additionally, exhibition history does generally contribute to archives and to the study of art history. Unfortunately, from Alliance's exhibition history, we could hardly obtain archives of posters of exhibitions, artist statement… etc and little or no effort has been made to use exhibition history to contribute to the study of our art history.
Beyond serving as a means to bond cultural relations, foreign cultural institutions are one of the important umbrellas that shelter the contemporary art of Ethiopia. The Alliance Ethio-Francaise which has persisted to be a key institutional patron to the arts has now proffered the exhibit "To Muse…" from its private art collection acquired in the above stated manner. The artists whose works are presented in the show range from some of the most important influential artists like Yohannes Gedamu, Tadesse Mesfin, Mezgebu Tessema Such a patronage need to continue to help to vigor the needy art scene of Ethiopia.
Where will the fates of of the paintings will be?


Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia


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