Tsegaye's Chasms of the Soul: A Shattered Witness (2010) is part of the wider exploration of environmental change that Future Memories seeks to address; it comprises a collection of 64 unique photographs of portraits found in a cemetery within the city's limits-half of which has now been replaced by paved highways. Tsegaye traversed the cemetery to document the framed portraits, which are left on the gravestones of the deceased in accordance with local tradition. Each of his haunting images shows a faded apparition, dilapidated by sunlight and rain, the glass cracked and neglected.Much like the subjects within the frames, these ephemeral memorials are themselves ceasing to exist,in a sense undergoing a second death. Chasms of the Soul is an immersive and emotionally charged installation which acts as a memento mori. It records once-exuberant moments captured in portraits that are succumbing to time.
Future Memories, although distinctively Ethiopian, elucidates a universal story of transformation and displacement through urbanization and gentrification, in the pursuit of economic growth and modernization. Unaffordable condominiums and imposing office blocks are the linchpins of the modern city, and the disregard for its lost communities is a plight recognizable everywhere.
BAND Gallery, (Black Artists' Networks in Dialogue)
19 Brock Ave, Toronto, Canada
Opening April 25, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Thu - Sat 12 - 6pm, Sun 1 - 5pm
Co-presented with BAND, in partnership with Addis Fine Art
Sponsored by Scotiabank
Curated by Ikenna Malbert