GALLERY LISTROS, Berlin, Germany 22 Aug 2013 - 24 Oct 2013
In connection with the 10th anniversary of LISTROS Association the Gallery Listros presents the exhibition OUANSA REVISITED. The group exhibition includes the works of 17 contemporary artists from Ethiopia and Germany. In addition to paintings, drawings, graphics and photographies, installations, films and video works will be on display.
The artistic positions explore the tension between art and society. In their totality the presented works by Yero Adugna Eticha, Genet Alemu, Kerima Ahmed, Tesfu Assefa, Lupe Godoy, Desta Hagos, Kedir Keri, Christiane Latendorf, Engdaget Legesse, McLovla, Tedesse Mesfin, Hans Scheib, Elias Sime, Robel Temesgel, Tibebe Terfa, Tefery Teshome and Robert Weber, show a multi-faceted and vivid image that honors the role and achievements of the working youth (Listros) in Ethiopia. Furthermore it presents a kaleidoscopic view of Ehiopia – a country full of contrasts where tradition and modernity coexist.
In OUANSA REVISITED two generations of artists from two continents thematize the self and the other, acceleration and slowness, spirituality and progress of a country in transition. Elias Sime, for example, specializes in the artistic work with buttons and thereby achieves a special poetic expression. Engdaget Legesse’s installation reflects the complexity of space and time. In her works, Christiane Latendorf recounts history and stories, visions and revelations, encounters and secret links.
OUANSA REVISITED is a contribution both to networking and to enriching the respective arts and culture scenes in Germany and Ethiopia. Furthermore art is a powerful tool for continuous artistic engagement with social issues. It offers alternative, different interpretations thus generating a wide range of possibilities: that is its capital.
BACKGROUND OF THE EXHIBITION AND GALLERY LISTROS
Listros are young people in Ethiopia who show enormous self-initiative for a better future by taking jobs as shoe shiners. They are the namesake of LISTROS Association and its associated GALLERY LISTROS. Since 2003 LISTROS has been employing art and culture to build a bridge between Ethiopia and Germany in order to support working youth in Ethiopia in their education and to give them more recognition and respect.
The exhibition OUANSA REVISITED continues an intercultural dialogue between artists in Germany and Ethiopia that LISTROS initiated with the 2008 OUANSA project.
OUANSA is the name of a tree growing in Ethiopia, and the project was based on the conviction that it needs an authentic experience so that art can become sustainable in social transformation processes.
Therefore the centerpiece of the project was a journey of six artists from Germany to Ethiopia. During a four-week art workshop in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa they met with 13 local artists for a continuous exchange of personal and artistic positions, concepts, techniques and ideas. This made an intense mutual artistic and cultural fertilization possible.
The final exhibition was on display in the All School of Fine Arts and Design in Addis Abeba in 2008 and in GALLERY LISTROS in 2009. It showed 101 works (paintings and sculptures) reflecting on the impressions and exchange in form and content.