Mahber Shaw’ate (Association of 7)
Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum
Mahber Shaw’ate (Association of 7), are photographs of temporary sculptural installations that investigate permutational possibilities and the disjuncture between physical and abstract materiality. The works appropriate the framework of an east African alphabet script (Tigrinya, Dawit L. Petros’ first language) and found cardboard boxes. Petros integrates performative strategies, sculpture, and installation with legacies of landscape imagery to create a series of photographic tableaus. Each photograph depicts a specific arrangement constructed in various locations around Santa Barbara, California. The temporary structures merge possibilities inherent to specific cultural references: an African alphabet (a parallel model for seriality) and western minimalist traditions. Petros’ photographs present a hybridized third form, which extracts liberally from both.