Refraction (...In Breath)

October 2020 - JANUARY 2021

2020 GC has been marked with disruptions of various scale and magnitude irreversibly altering our lives + artistic practices. our moments of disillusions have birthed new forms of thinking.

how do we react, interact, move, and exist within these moments of dissonance arundathi roy says the pandemic is a portal. in many ways GOJO residential program has been a space to simulate the experience of walking across a gap – transitioning from one medium into another. our work together at GOJO has been a practice that constantly asks for an internal rupture.

this exhibition-in-progress is a means of holding a mirror to our current realities, to encapsulate the now and forge empathetic relationships to those around us together we are building a ጎጆ in the new world, erecting a meseso, wriggling the cheqa, layering the sar.

the exhibition doesn’t begin or end now but being here and creating from a space of vulnerability + resilience matters.

red or remembering every detail

betelhem abebe x hamdiya sherif x eyob teshome

// let’s start from the clothing. & how it’s made

\\ the design of the shirt draws from the functionality of a straitjacket, from losing the freedom to move, as one wishes to move.

|| when wearing the cloth and experience the lost freedom, the limitations become central to all my movements

Poetics of space

yasmin abdu bushra x dawit seto x solomon kifle

As addis ababa, one of the indigenous cities in Africa which became a major urban center, moves away from traditional social structures and dissolves stable sources of economy in the name of progress, disparities in living conditions arise.

We chose to make walking our starting point for our creative process. We chose three places in Addis Ababa – to observe. We started from Geja Sefer, and went to 4 kilo condominium and then to Bole. It was an interesting and enjoyable walk. We were like sponges sucking in the atmosphere at play, palpable in the air. & instead of tuning in with our preconceived expectations, we listened and looked around to understand the feeling of the people we encounter around these sefers.

we each interpret our individual emotions, our personal experience during the process into our artistic medium: vis arts, movements, and architecture. There are three places of inquiry, three lines of emotional exploration, and three media of expressions.

Yasmin abdu Bushra

I look at old sefers or old towns and study their living style, how was it before and how has it changed. And by reading and recognizing signs and indications of resistance, I project where we are going following our current trajectory of pseudo development.

Dawit seto

I started from the concept that our day to day activities are a form of performance. when coming to this idea of “protest” what I was inspired by were the sticks or dulas, which took center stage in the political resistance that broke out in July, 2020. the recurring question in my mind, the idea I carried with me as we did our research within the three sefers/old towns is: “where are these sticks/dulas, where do we see the dula in this ordinary existence? What’s the dula’s place? An observation which developed the idea of the “dula” as an entry point and an element to survey the body language of protests.

Solomon Kifle

I explored the form of protests as a medium to communicate personal urgencies. I begin by asking what constitutes a protest? Walking through the old towns, I was able to observe the different forms of protest inhabitants choose to exercise as a direct response to their living conditions.

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