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Light Work to present exhibition ‘Limbo,’ showcasing work of Admas Habteslasie
Light Work to present exhibition ‘Limbo,’ showcasing work of Admas HabteslasieMarch 09, 2009Jessica Heckmanjhheckma@syr.edu
Light Work will host the exhibition “Limbo,” featuring the work of Admas Habteslasie, March 16-June 12. The images from this series depict a graceful yet unusually honest and insightful snapshot of Eritrea, an East African country suspended in an unsettled state between war and peace.
Eritrea warred with neighboring Ethiopia for 30 years before gaining independence in 1991. Then, in 1998, Eritrea entered another war with Ethiopia that lasted two years. Today, the war-torn country is yet again at the brink of war with its neighbor. Years of unrest have left the people of Eritrea waiting for life to improve.
“Transitory states become permanent. Empty villas, destroyed old buildings and unfinished new buildings dot the landscape, monuments to the suspension of history,” says Habteslasie. “The collision between Eritrea’s proud historical narrative and the bleak ennui of the present has produced an obsessive focus on the future. Reconstruction and infrastructure development are energetically driven forward whilst the economy remains essentially shut off from the outside world.”
The images in the “Limbo” exhibition capture both destruction and construction, both the unhealed wounds of war and a fierce optimism and hope for a brighter future.
Habteslasie was born in Kuwait; his parents are Eritrean. He holds a master’s degree in photojournalism and documentary photography from the London College of Communication. His photographic projects look at the ideas of identity and history, and re-evaluation of our relationship with historical process. His work has been exhibited at venues such as Flowers East and 198 Gallery in London and has been published in Source Magazine.
Habteslasie participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in June 2008 through a collaboration with London-based charity Autograph ABP. Each year, Light Work welcomes one artist-in-residence selected through Autograph ABP, which works internationally to educate the public about photography, with a particular emphasis on issues of cultural identity and human rights. Habteslasie was the 10th artist to participate in the Artist-in-Residence program through the collaboration. For more information about Autograph ABP, visit http://www.autograph-abp.co.uk.
Light Work will feature an evening with the artist on April 9 from 5:30-8 p.m. The evening will begin with a spoken-word poetry performance by Verbal Blend, followed by a question-and-answer session with Habteslasie and a gallery reception. Verbal Blend is a spoken-word poetry program sponsored by Syracuse University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, designed to enhance participants’ confidence in writing and performing original poems. The program is composed of a five-week workshop series on poetry forms and formats, journal entry and peer reviews. Participants have the opportunity to showcase their work at public venues such as open mic nights. For this event, a group of SU students, high school students and community members have prepared spoken-word performances in response to Habteslasie’s images.
Also on view at this time is “As it Happens: Artists-in-Residence at Light Work.” This exhibition, curated by SU museum studies graduate student Josh Brilliant, features work by participants in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program. The exhibition celebrates Light Work’s commitment to supporting emerging and under-recognized artists by featuring work that has been donated to the Light Work Collection by participants in the program. Artists included in this exhibition include Kelli Connell, Cristina Fraire, Tony Gleaton, Suzanne Mejean, Peggy Nolan, Christine Osinski and Amy Stein.
Gallery hours for these exhibitions are Sunday to Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 443-1300. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Marion lot and the Booth Garage.
Light Work invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition and facility. Light Work is a nonprofit, artist-run organization dedicated to the support of artists working in photography and electronic media. Light Work is a member of the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers at Syracuse University (CMAC).
For more information on either of these exhibitions, contact Jessica Heckman at 443-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.