Robel Temesgen: Practising Water, Kunsthall Oslo [3/3–16/4/2023]
Kunsthall Oslo is very pleased to present Robel Temesgen’s solo exhibition Practising Water: Report #1. This is the first public manifestation of the artist’s long-term research project exploring the connections between bodies of water and the human communities that have formed around them.
For this first report Temesgen has used painting and performance to chart the flow, both symbolic and actual, of the waters of the Blue Nile through the Ethiopian landscape and culture. From baptisms held at Gish Abay (the source of the Lesser Nile) to the Blue Nile Falls where the river can reach hundreds of metres across, the project documents Temesgen’s literal immersion in the complex spiritual traditions of his homeland. In one telling, the river flows to Earth directly from the Christian Eden; in another, it is home to powerful Djinn that can possess human souls. A multitude of shifting narratives accompany the river’s constant transformation as it flows from the highlands of East Africa to the Mediterranean, from the deep time of a past before history towards an unkown future.
Temesgen has developed his own ritual language in response to these powerful natural and cultural forces, and to his double position as both pilgrim and artist. For the exhibition Practising Water, he will present documentation of five river performances, alongside the textiles and objects used in these improvised rituals. The exhibition is completed by a series of luminous and multi-layered paintings made with ink on goatskin parchment.
Περισσότερα στο e-flux.