Saturday, April 13, 2024

Jebena in the modern Ethiopia


Jebena is a solo exhibition by Robel Temesgen that opened at the Fendika Cultural Center on February 22, 2018. In this Exhibition, Temesgen walks visitors through the “Nu Bunna Tetu”; the highly proliferating small scale coffee drinking spots and their emergence as alternative public spaces.jebena-2
In the fast changing character of Addis Ababa, the coffee spots have become an integral part of everyday life in areas ranging from the fancy multipurpose malls to the demolished as well as new construction sites in the city.
Using the painting approach the artist developed over the years, Robel elevates the Jebena coffee pots beyond the customary. Owing to their compelling presence, Jebena looks into coffee pots as adapting to survive, to make it through the hustle and bustle and continue to offer a platform that affords customers a shared place for conversations as they sip on their cup of coffee.
Imagining sites of “Nu Bunna Tetu” as spots that somehow connect ‘strangers’ constitutes part of his continued interest in the socio-political dynamics of the social, sociality, and sociability and spaces at which this manifest. After years of exhibiting abroad, this Exhibition is Robel’s first Solo show in Addis Ababa.
Born in 1987 in Ethiopia, Robel Temesgen received an MFA from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2015, and a BFA in Fine Art (Painting) from Addis Ababa University in 2010.
He recently took part in the Junge Akademie Program of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and was a resident artist at IASPIS, Stockholm, the Swedish Art Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Arts. Temesgen’s work has been exhibited at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2017), Marabohparken, Stockholm (2017), Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2016), Kurant Visningsrom, Tromsø (2015), Addis International Video Art Festival, Addis Ababa (2015), Art Future/Future Signs, Riga (2015), RomeAfrica Film Festival, Rome (2015), Lumen Festival, New York (2015), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2014) and Modern Art Museum/Gebre Kristos Desta Center, Addis Ababa (2013). He currently lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The current exhibition is set to be open for public until March 24, 2018.

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