Betelhem Makonnen _________ ቤተልሄም መኮንን     


TEMPO 2018 City of Austin and Austin in Public Places

September 11 – November 7, at St. John Branch Library, 7500 Blessing Ave., Austin, TX

November 10 – 18, at TEMPO Convergence during East Austin Studio Tour at Edward Rendón Sr. Park.

untitled (these united states)

An initiative of the Art in Public Places Program, TEMPO brings temporary public artwork to sites throughout Austin to enrich civic dialogue, cultivate tourism, and activate public spaces in unexpected ways. The annual program commissions artists to create installations in a range of media that explore themes suitable for the outdoor environment. Adrian Aguilera and Betelhem Makonnen's proposal untitled (these united states) was selected for installation at the St. John Branch Library, City Council district 4.

untitled (these united states) emerges from the continuing collaboration between artists Adrian Aguilera and Betelhem Makonnen. The concepts behind this new work operate within and extend the questions explored in their 2017 exhibition “yo soy aquí / i am here” – the immigrant's perspective of constant translations, unfamiliar existences that challenge an Absolute, as well as the potential of realities born out of continuous interactions.

With untitled (these united states), Aguilera and Makonnen invite us to reflect on the relationship between symbols and collective identity. What is a flag essentially and is it capable of representing something that is in a perennial state of becoming, not fixed or established? Can a technology invented for conquest and homogenization be re-purposed as a potential platform for relationality and multiplicity? What are the implications of a "perfect union" versus a "united states"? What is the connection between power and (in)visibility?

Austin Art in Public Places

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