Betelhem Makonnen _________ ቤተልሄም መኮንን     


A native of Ethiopia, Betelhem Makonnen is an artist living in Austin, TX, with a MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in History and Literature of Africa/African Diaspora from UT Austin. Her work includes photography, video, installation and text, shown nationally and internationally – most recently, Big Medium (2020 Tito’s Prize Solo Exhibition, Austin), Women & Their Work (Austin), Le Musée des Abattoirs (Toulouse), and The Carver Museum (Austin),with performances and screenings at The Blanton Museum (Austin), IVAHM (Madrid), Casa Daros (Rio de Janeiro), andDakArt Off (Dakar), and featured in a variety of publications, including NYTFrieze, Hyperallergic, Zoetrope, O Menelick 2º Ato, Revista Lampejo, Revista Caju and Glasstire. She also co-organizes Addis Video Art Festival, a platform for video art in Ethiopia, and is an active co-founder member of the Austin-based arts collective Black Mountain Project.

An continual blending of anthropological, philosophic, and historical (both personal and collective) inquiries provides the platform for the development of the conceptual foundation of my practice. My works in photography, video and installation translate perception, presence, and place within a trans-temporal and trans-spacial topology that operates on the relational dynamics of an African diasporic consciousness.

With unfixed, many-ed, and dis-identified figures as points of departure, I use strategies of (re)combinations and (re)configurations to activate in-between spaces existing in paradoxes, feedback loops and sites of connection.
My ultimate interest is to create fugitive perceptual experiences uncontained by the logics of reductive sensorial vocabularies.


Photo by Moyo Oyelola
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