Temesgen, works have been concerned with developing a visual language for the spiritual. In the upcoming solo exhibition, Temesgen creates a convergence of seemingly disparate concepts, the spiritual and the political, which, on closer examination reveal themselves to be of equal importance.
In addition to his customary paintings and works on paper, Confluence sees an inclusion of handwritten newspapers. Due to the use of the specifically Ethiopian language Amharic in most publications, some readers will only understand some aspects of the project – that they are reading a newspaper and that the newspaper is handwritten – but will not understand the content of the form. As such, Temesgen detaches the subject matter from the form to the extent that the form becomes the content. The handwritten newspapers, and the broader exhibition, invite issues of access, the possibility for public gathering, and the need for a self-imposed censorship that is influenced by the fear of the state.
About the Artist: Born in 1987 in Ethiopia, Robel Temesgen received an MFA from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2015, and a BFA in Fine Art (Painting) from Addis Ababa University in 2010. Image credit: Confluence by Robel Temesgen.