Art Metropole is pleased to present a talk by artist and activist Eric Gottesman. Taking place in conjunction with his lecture at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Gottesman will discuss his current community-based practice in Ethiopia and show excerpts from projects. Please join us Tuesday August 15th at 7:30 PM. Art Metropole is located at 788 King Street West, Toronto.
Eric Gottesman is a collaborative artist working with photography and video. For the last seven years, he has been working on a project with Sudden Flowers Productions, a children’s art collective in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Together, they have produced imagery that describes how the children’s lives have been affected by poverty and disease. They have exhibited and published this work locally in English and Amharic and recently toured a public art exhibit around Ethiopia.
One aspect of Gottesman’s collaboration with Sudden Flowers Productions has been an exploration of the photographic images that these children have in their homes. For this talk, Gottesman will discuss the photographs that these children and others have contributed to this project, the photographic aesthetic that has grown from the specific political and visual history of Ethiopia, and the ways these images have influenced the videos he has produced with his collaborators.
Gottesman has exhibited and published his work from Ethiopia and from other projects in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America. His most recent exhibits were at Bard College in Annandale, New York, Al Riwaq Gallery in Manama, Bahrain and Gallery Wedat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has presented his work at public health conferences alongside such members of the humanitarian aid community as Jeffrey Sachs, founder of the Earth Institute, Debrework Zewdie, chief of the World Bank section on AIDS, and Stephen Lewis, UN special envoy on HIV/AIDS. His work has been supported by numerous organizations, including the Open Society Institute, the Opportunity Fund, the center for Documentary Studies at Duke, the Ethiopian HIV/AIDS Secretariat, the Lilly Endowment and the Firelight Foundation.
Eric Gottesman is a photographic artist and organizer. Central to his practice is collaboration. He uses photography, writing and film as vehicles to engage others in conversation and critical thought about the social structures that surround them, and him. He works slowly, often spending a long time in a community, and exhibits work locally first, to an audience determined by the co-creators of the work.
Gottesman studied politics and economics and, later, art. In 2003, he was named one of the top 25 young American photographers. He has earned a Fulbright Fellowship in art as well as awards from the Magnum Foundation, Artadia, the Aaron Siskind Foundation, apexart, the Open Society Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. His work is in various collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2012, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park and the Clark Gallery exhibited his work. He was the 2012 artist-in-residence at Amherst College and at the Addison Gallery of American Art. His first book, Sudden Flowers: May The Finest In The World Always Accompany You, is forthcoming.
He has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Amherst College, the International Center for Photography, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and in collaborative workshops in Lebanon, Jordan and Ethiopia.