Coming Together

Kunsthall Oslo, Oslo, Norway
07 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020

Berhanu Ashagrie, Care and Become, group performance at Arat Kilo / Addis Ababa, 2019 (Supported by Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and FWF-PEEK Project) Photo credit: Habtamu Gebremeskel, Courtesy of the Artist

Berhanu Ashagrie, Care and Become, group performance at Arat Kilo / Addis Ababa, 2019 (Supported by Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and FWF-PEEK Project) Photo credit: Habtamu Gebremeskel, Courtesy of the Artist

The recent major political reformation in Ethiopia has created a situation where, professionals started to experience a certain level of hope towards the collective becoming.

Coming-together is a collective art project developed on the basis of care and concern, to respond to the ongoing creative and political situations. Five artists from Addis Ababa, who are also actively working as educators, organizers, writers and performers will stay and work in Oslo for a three-week period. Kunsthall Oslo will be an active space for performance, workshop, think-tank and discussion on and around the question of coming together and how the desired ‘We’ can be constructed and maintained. Following the opening performance, an evolving exhibition will accompany research activities, discussions, workshops, public events, archive works, and crafting of a program for a new artists’ organization to be formalized in the year 2020. Throughout the exhibition, different creative individuals will come together from Addis, Oslo and other places to explore possibilities on what can be shared and learned.



Berhanu Ashagrie is an Ethiopian visual artist and a lecturer at the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design. Berhanu has also served the fine art school as a Director for nearly four years starting from 2012. He graduated with BFA from the same school and further studied and graduated with MA in Fine Arts from Utrecht Graduate School of the Arts in the Netherlands. He has been critically engaged with various individual and collective artistic projects inside and outside studio environment. Multidisciplinary creative outcomes of his projects have been shown in different countries; some of which are Ethiopia, Germany, Netherlands, France, Georgia, Italy, Greece and Spain. In the last few years, Berhanu has actively been working on issues that come along with change / development / transformation / modernization activities of urban spaces and places and the human conditions in it.

Born in 1982, Tesfaye Bekele grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during a shifting cultural and political landscape in the country. As a young child he began drawing art out of interest as a way to document the images in his community. In 2007 he attended the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Art(s) in Art Education.

Henok Getachew graduated with a B.A in Art Education from Ale School of Fine Arts and Design in 2008. Since graduation, he has used techniques ranging from performance to painting and mixed media to generate his body of work. His works emphasize the history of each object and process of creation. His work touches on questions around consumerism, global climate crisis and the impact of technology on society. After graduation he helped found a unique artist collective named Netsa Art Village with ten other Ethiopian Artists in 2009, an artists collective dedicated to showcase experimental art work and engage the community with local and international art practice.

Robel Temesgen (b. 1987, Ethiopia) received his MFA in Contemporary Art from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art and creative writing, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2015 and a BFA in Painting from ASFAD, Addis Abeba University in 2010. His practice focuses on painting and encompasses elements of performance, installation, video and collaborative projects.
Since 2010, Temesgen is a Lecturer at the Department of Painting, Ale School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa University. His work has been exhibited in Ethiopia and internationally.

Helen Zeru is a visual artist based in Addis Ababa. Her practice often begins as a healing process, dealing with personal incidents in the artist’s life. Starting as a reflection of these private themes the work often ends up entering a broader social context, touching relevant and pressing issues in the society in which Zeru lives. The current and rapid urban gentrification process occurring in Addis Ababa and how it affects the lives of inhabitants from a broad spectrum of society within the city is one such issue Zeru is currently exploring. Zeru began her practice exploring the medium of woodcut printing. She later moved into mixed media techniques and currently executes work through photography, installation, video art and performance. Zeru has exhibited extensively in Ethiopia and internationally.


Coming Together 

7th-23rd February 2020
Rostockgata 2-4

Opening and performance: Friday 7th February

Talks and public discussion: Friday 14th February

Closing party: Friday 21st February