1- 29 MAY 2021
Monstrous, oversized arms loom over crowds of small people against a backdrop of children’s sketches and pages torn from exercise books. These striking scenes are the newest additions to Dawit Abebe’s ongoing ‘Long Hand’ series, which revolves around the Ethiopian expression of “having long hands” (ረጅም እጆች), referring to individuals who have widespread influence over groups of people. Presented in a solo exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Berlin, this latest collection of artworks continues Abebe’s investigations into how our identities and belief systems are established, manipulated or obliterated by dominating powers, with a particular focus on the foundation and dissemination of knowledge.
‘No experience is free from an influence in one way or another,’ says Abebe. ‘We can see that a small number of countries, certain groups of people and a few individuals are able to control directly, and indirectly, the fate of the majority at a national as well as global level.’ In these latest artworks, the artist not only refines his visual language to expose and draw our attention to forces of control, but also signals at a powerful form of emancipation: creativity.