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Betelhem Makonnen

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  • 20131031141519-betelhem_makonnen_-_1000_doors_-__imagem_still_do_v_deo


Addis Ababa

Lives in
Rio de Janeiro

Works in
Rio de Janeiro


photo, digital, photography, conceptual, video-art, mixed-media

Artist Statement

We say we want everything, but we don’t want everything, because everything also includes all that we don’t want as well.  What we actually mean to say is that we want everything that we want.  This is very different from wanting everything.

Time is vertical as opposed to horizontal.  We have imprisoned ourselves into seeing it as a linear experience that includes a defined past, present and future.  Time is vertical and stacked.  The past, present and future are all now. We don’t pass through time but are in time all the time.  We navigate/wander within the layers/stacks constantly and seamlessly, instantly and subconsciously. 

Time is not something that is separate from us but a part of us.  We carry it with us and are carried within it.  We are time ourselves.

Zoom in.  Zoom out.  Whole/Hole.  One is defined by the other.  We navigating the space created by the tension between seemingly opposite forces   All in flux, constant change.  Movement/Flow.  Everything that ever was/is/will be present in the present.  All is now.

My work examines movement and fluidity in multilayered settings using the relationship between states or terms generally deemed contradictory as a platform.  Perception of time and memory are reference points for my investigation. Research has a continuous role in my work.  My references are a mixture of my own personal history with combinations and fragments of ideas and thoughts that I absorb in an intuitive process from readings of texts of philosophy, science, history and literature, the internet, as well as films. The starting impulse of all my works is the existential questions that arise from my research and experiences.  My execution is always organic.  Intention and accidents play equal roles in gesture and form.  I use the process of the creation of the work itself as guidance for its final coherency.  My hope is that the resulting work invites a visceral interpretation from the viewer's own imagination and experiences.

I was born in Ethiopia, educated mostly in the United States and currently live and work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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