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Elizabeth Giorgis - "The Visual and the Text: Ethiopian Modernism, an Alternative Reading.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 4:45pm

Toboggan Lodge, Cornell University

Elizabeth Giorgis (Director, Modern Art Museum/Gebre Kristos Desta Center, Addis Ababa University)

This project aims to investigate the interactions between visual and written texts in an attempt to place Ethiopian visual modernism in the institutional and ideological context within which it was produced. In this context, it proposes that the discourse that shaped the ambivalent construction of Ethiopian literary modernism also found its ultimate expression in visual art beginning in 1957, the year the Fine Art School opened. Arguing in such a way opens up a larger critical frame in which to situate and understand Ethiopian visual modernism, particularly where literature on Ethiopian modern art history and the measure of its complexity is non-existent.

Elizabeth Giorgis received her doctorate degree from the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies of Cornell University. She served as the Dean of the Skunder Boghossian College of Performing and Visual Art of Addis Ababa University and as Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies of Addis Ababa University. She teaches Art Theory and Criticism in the College of Performing and Visual Art and also serves as the Director of the Modern Art Museum/Gebre Kristos Desta Center. She is the author of several publications as well as curator of numerous exhibitions

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