Alexander Gray Associates
Dawit Petros' exhibition debuted new photographic works created in Eritrea and Kenya. These resulting photographs, of East African landscape, architecture, and residents, are highly formalized through Petros’ lens. His images are further distanced through their presentation; mounted under darkened Plexiglas, and arranged in grids of multiple sizes, the photographs create an architectural experience. Like a reversal of Jeff Wall’s lightboxes, Petros’ “darkboxes” have a psychological luminosity, which further mediates the imagery. Reflective, dark surfaces negotiate the physical experience with the viewer, skewing the reveals of information in the photographs.
Describing his process, the artist states: “Living between geographical locations; Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Canada and the United States, has required the navigation of myriad terrains. This process has provided a set of expansive relationships; an awareness of the necessity of simultaneity; and recognition of the contradictory ties that bind the dispersed to physical and psychic places. In my work, I synthesize ideas and information, in an attempt to integrate visual materials and my own experiences into broader debates of culture, history and ideology.”