Having worked with media art for over thirty years, Theo Eshetu is internationally recognized as a veteran in his field. His ongoing investigation of the manipulation of the language of television is inspired by anthropology, art history, scientific research, religious iconography, history, and personal experience, seamlessly brought together in multimedia works that reveal how electronic media shapes identity and perception. Eshetu’s work stems from the combined sensibilities of filmmaker, photographer, documentarian, and sound artist. His thoughts and reflections about art, photography, television, and video are revealed in a recent conversation with Selene Wendt. Topics include how and why he became interested in video as a medium, the development of video as a medium, and issues related to his transnational identity. A significant part of the interview relates to his seminal work Blood is Not Fresh Water, a documentary-style biographical portrait about his grandfather, a leading Ethiopian historian. The conversation takes us on a journey through Ethiopia’s past and provides an in-depth look at Eshetu’s most important works to date, including Till Death Us Do Part, Travelling Light, Body and Soul, Brave New World, Africanized, Trip to Mount Zuqualla, Roma, and The Return of the Axum Obelisque.
Research Article|November 01 2014
Theo Eshetu in Conversation with Selene Wendt
Selene Wendt is an independent curator and founder of The Global Art Project. She has curated many international exhibitions, including Art Through the Eye of the Needle, A Doll’s House, Beauty and Pleasure in South African Contemporary Art, Equatorial Rhythms, The Storytellers: Narratives in International Contemporary Art, and Mind the Map. She is currently working on The Art of Storytelling for MAC Niterói in Brazil, as well as a thematic exhibition that relates to Jamaican music and contemporary art.
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Nka (2014) 2014 (35): 100-113.
Selene Wendt; Theo Eshetu in Conversation with Selene Wendt. Nka 1 November 2014; 2014 (35): 100–113. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10757163-2827899
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