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Dawit L. Petros

Dawit L. Petros

In conjunction with his residency at The Warehouse (located at 149 S. 4th Street), Dawit L. Petros will create a site-responsive installation that serves as an extension of the artist’s studio practice as well as an investigation of place and the demarcations we ascribe to define it. For the duration of the exhibition, the gallery will become the artist’s studio, as it is there that experimentation, observation, and the process happens; all of which are essential for the work to exist. The arrangements within the installation will deny any stable, singular viewpoint, allowing viewers to become wanderers, and mirror the artist’s travel and research.

As part of his residency, Petros will embark on a series of migratory walks, crisscrossing Salina and its surrounding environs. A modern flaneur, Petros explores each city he resides and makes photographs of colors, surfaces, buildings, objects, fields, waterways, etc. to be included in his long-term projects, Chrome and Mahber Shaw’ate (Association of 7). Similar to the ongoing investigations occurring in a laboratory, the gallery will be in constant flux, undergoing changes in response to the artist’s continual investigation of Salina. Referencing the formal language of minimalist abstraction, Petros installs each element of the exhibition with great care; attentively, as though not to overlook the unseen. For this reason, the work within the space has several layers of meaning, addressing the passage of time, the dissolution of physical boundaries, and the complexity of language and its myriad of interpretations. His images are simultaneously recognizable and ambiguous; familiar and distant; banal and fresh. Often devoid of the figure, it is through these dichotomies that Petros’s works become explorations of place and self. Does a place define you, or do you define a place? In challenging us to be self-reflective on our own lives, Petros provides a space for us to sit with the work and begin our own ongoing investigations of self and place.

Petros has exhibited his work in group exhibitions throughout Canada and the United States, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI; Wedge Gallery, Toronto, Canada; Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA; Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; Harbourfront Gallery, Toronto; Observatoire 4, Montréal, Canada; Maison de la Culture Frontenac, Montréal; and Prefix Gallery, Toronto. He has received Fulbright and Bombardier Internationalist Fellowships, as well as an Art Matters Foundation grant; and has participated in residencies at the Center for Photography, Woodstock and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Thu May 31, 2012 10am – 11am Central Time