Dawit L. Petros — Claudia Polledri

[Winter 2022]

Galerie Bradley Ertaskiran, Montréal
3.09.2021 — 30.10.2021

By Claudia Polledri

Gaps, holes, fissures, and frictions – the title defines the perimeter of the exhibition by Eritrean artist Dawit L. Petros, presented as part of the Momenta 2021 satellite program. In this show, composed of photographs and serigraphs on paper and canvas, Petros, who now divides his time between Montreal and Chicago, continues his reflection on the heritage of colonial history previously addressed in Spazio disponibile, an installation presented in 2021 at University at Buffalo Art Galleries, and on immigration and emigration phenomena, past and present. To do this, he creates a visual itinerary that intersects with different historical temporalities and a variety of geographic spaces in Africa, Europe, and North America. To these elements is added a more abstract section concerning the role that technological progress has played in displacements, but also in the affirmation of the gaze at the other.

The core theme of the exhibition is the Italian colonization of Eritrea, a historical process instigated in the late nineteenth century and terminated in the wake of the Second World War, when Italy, defeated, was forced to give up its colonies. This history, long on the fringes of contemporary historiography, takes form through archival photographs and serigraphs created by Petros from images in Rivista coloniale (1906–43), published by the Italian Colonial Institute. His approach involves the creative use of archives, aiming to reactivate and appropriate history by the weaving of intellectual and emotional ties with events and people of previous eras….
Translated by Käthe Roth.

[ Complete issue, in print and digital version, available here: Ciel variable 119 – AGAINST NATURE ]
[ Complete article and more images, in digital version, available here: Dawit L. Petros — Claudia Polledri ]