March 2nd – April 1st
Opening Reception: Friday, March 2nd 6-9pm
First Friday Video Screening – Jacqueline Bates (info below)
Originally from Ethiopia, Eyakem Gulilat’s work is rooted in a quest for belonging. Focusing on the complexities of cross-cultural encounter, Gulilat challenges perceptions of time, memory, and place. His photography questions the differences between subject and photographer; the borders that distinguish us from one another; and the ways our perceptions shift when we view each other through the camera’s lens.
After obtaining his MFA from the University of Oklahoma, Gulilat was selected as an artist in residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York. Gulilat has won several awards including the Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship and the National Photography Fellowship Competition at Midwest Center for Photography. He has exhibited across the U.S and Canada; his work is in private and public collections. Currently Gulilat is an adjunct professor of Photoshop for Media at the University of Central Oklahoma.
“Photography has been used as a primary tool to document the American West as early as the 19th century; I am using this century old method to explore my presence in America as a “newcomer.” As an Ethiopian Immigrant residing in Oklahoma I choose to explore the landscape its inhabitants and my own Ethiopian identity. The result is a collaborative triptych which blurs the boundaries between American and Ethiopian, photographer and subject.
I extend my Ethiopian identity by inviting my subjects to dress in traditional Ethiopian clothing. The clothing is a metaphor for the exchange of ideas. Not only am I introducing my subjects to a critical component of Ethiopian heritage, but I am also challenging the viewer’s expectations of what it means to be Ethiopian.
This project allows me to write myself into the history of the American landscape, but more importantly, this project questions the boundaries that separate us from one another.”
Jacqueline Bates – So Near the Ionian Sea
So Near the Ionian Sea is a video triptych which continues the themes explored in my photographic series, La Vita Americana. The 13‐minute piece is non‐linear, combining color and black‐and‐white imagery and weaving past and present, dreams and reality. Time is indeterminate. Inspired by The Mirror, Andrei Tarkovsky’s poetic, stream‐of‐consciousness film, the piece blends sequences evoking a mysterious search, drawing upon appropriated moments from Italian cinema and original imagery captured both in the United States and in the small, ancient town of Noepoli, in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy.
New York City-based photographer Jacqueline Bates was born in Mount Kisco, New York, in 1981 and raised in Connecticut. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004 and Master of Fine Arts in 2009, both in photography, from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Her work has been exhibited in group exhibitions in New York City, Chicago, Portland, Colorado, and Vancouver. In addition to taking pictures, Bates also works in magazine publishing as a photography editor.
This video will be presented from 6-9pm on Friday March 2nd.