Photo by Stephen Pruitt

A native of Ethiopia (b. 1972), Betelhem Makonnen
currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. Working with a variety of mediums that include video, photography and installations, she researches questions on perception, presence and place. In addition to her practice she is an active member of the Austin-based contemporary arts collaborative Black Mountain Project.




An experimental blending of anthropological, philosophic, and historical (both personal and collective) research provides the platform for the development of the conceptual foundation of my practice. My works in photography, video and installation question perception, presence and place within a trans-temporal and trans-spacial topology that operates on the relational dynamics of my 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 that disturb hegemonic sensorial vocabularies, possibly freeing new ways of seeing and making sense.







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