Artist and filmmaker Theo Eshetu discusses his work with lecturer and independent curator Elvira Dyangani Ose, in conjunction with his solo exhibition at Tiwani Contemporary, Constellations.
Theo Eshetu was born in 1958 in London and grew up in Addis Ababa, Dakar and London before establishing himself in Rome. He currently lives and works in Berlin. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, his works were shown at major video art festivals, receiving awards in Berlin, Milan and Locarno. Solo shows include: Brave New World at the Museum of African Art, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (2010) and the Baltimore Museum of Art (2006); and the multiscreen video installation The Return of the Axum Obelisk at the Unesco Headquarters in Paris (2009), Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (2010), DAADGalerie, Berlin (2014) and the American Academy in Rome (2015). Eshetu’s works have also been presented at the Kochi Biennale (2014), the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), The Sharjah Biennial (2011), The Tropics (2009, curated by Alfons Hug), and Snap Judgments (2006, curated by Okwui Enwezor). Eshetu’s work is currently showing at the Göteborg Biennial and the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in Berlin (curated by Simon Njami).
Elvira Dyangani Ose (b. 1974, Spain/Equatorial Guinea) is Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and curator of the eighth edition of the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, GIBCA 2015. She is currently completing a PhD and holds an MA in History of Art and Visual Studies from Cornell University, New York, an MAS in Theory and History of Architecture from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona and a BA in Art History from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She was Curator International Art, supported by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, at Tate Modern (2011-2014). At Tate, she took a leading role in developing the gallery’s holdings of art from Africa and its diaspora and worked closely with the Africa Acquisitions Committee. She was responsible for Across the Board (2012-2014), a two-year interdisciplinary project that took place in London, Accra, Douala and Lagos, and co-curated Ibraham El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist (2013). Prior to Tate, she was curator at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (2004-2006) and at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (2006-2008), as well as curator of a number of independent projects. Dyangani Ose has published and lectured on modern and contemporary African art and has contributed to art journals such as Nka and Atlántica.
Tiwani Contemporary’s public programme, Art Connect, is generously supported by the A.G. Leventis Foundation.