Additional Images

X-Privacy Series:
The work of Ethiopian artist Dawit Abebe examines belief systems, the search for knowledge, privacy, alienation, and materiality. Above all, he is interested in the impact of technology on human behaviour, as well as the impact of these technologies on the environment. In a sense, Abebe’s practice probes the realm of our shared cultural and belief systems, with technology taking on the role of an ‘other’ culture. “My interest in this subject has been a gradual process of examination of people’s lives over the last ten years,” he explains. Abebe began to notice how social interaction has begun to move out of the public sphere and into the technological one, through computers and mobile phones, and it is this that he explores here with a series of paintings. “I’ve seen the decrease of the ‘face to face’ social aspect,” he says. “How do these technologies affect our social life? What happens when we meet less frequently with ‘real’ people, and more often online?” Abebe also examines the impact of technology on societies, and how their introduction causes them to evolve differently. “In rural places, such as Ethiopia, Madagascar, or Kenya, people use technology as a sign of wealth, such as owning a television. They adapt fast to new technologies, and their behaviour changes fast too.”
Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Wandsworth, England 2017