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States of Becoming

Oct 14 Through Feb 26 | Fri |
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States of Becoming, curated by Fitsum Shebeshe, examines the dynamic forces of relocation, resettling, and assimilation that shape the artistic practices of a group of 17 contemporary African artists who have lived and worked in the United States within the last three decades. Artists featured include Kearra Amaya Gopee, Nadia Ayari and Masimba Hwati, among others, all of whom explore their personal relationships with being both African and becoming American in the United States or in the Caribbean through their multimedia works.

The concept for the exhibition evolved from curator Fitsum Shebeshe’s lived experience following his 2016 move from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Baltimore, Maryland and his subsequent firsthand knowledge of the weight of cultural assimilation. Confronted with a different society, Shebeshe encountered a wide range of existential questions that shaped his relationship to institutions and culture. Shebeshe also had the realization for the first time that he was viewed as belonging to a minority because of the color of his skin, and a newfound awareness of the profound impact Ethiopia’s traditional and conservative culture had on his personal sense of individuality.

Venue: The Africa Center at Aliko Dangote Hall

1280 Fifth Avenue Map