Theo Eshetu

Theo Eshetu è un video artista nato a Londra nel 1958 da madre olandese e padre etiope. Trascorre la sua infanzia tra Etiopia, Senegal, la Ex-Jugoslavia e altri luoghi. Parla molte lingue e il suo background transnazionale e multiculturale dialoga con la complessità identitaria in un mondo sempre più globalizzato.
Eshetu si laurea in Communication Design presso il North East London Poytechnic nel 1981. Da allora ha lavorato con una vasta gamma di new media, dal documentario al film sperimentale, alla videoinstallazione e fotografia.
Il suo lavoro è stato mostrato in Italia, così come in Inghilterra, Gemrania, Svezia, Sud Africa, Canada, USA, Brasile, Giappone e Cina ed è stato presentato in importanti esposizioni tra cui: la Biennale di Venezia (2011), allo Smithsonian Institute (2010), “DieTropen” (2008), “Snap Judgments” (2006) e “Digital Africa” (2003).
Ha insegnato film e videoarte presso diverse accademie d’arte e università italiane. Attualmente lavora tra Roma e Berlino.

Theo Eshetu is a video artist who was born in London in 1958 to a Dutch mother and Ethiopian father. His childhood was spent between Ethiopia, Senegal and Yugoslavia, among other nations. He speaks several languages and his multi-national, multi-cultural background speaks to the complexity of identity in an increasingly globalized world. For over twenty years, he has been based in Rome. Eshetu received his degree in Communication Design from the North East London Polytechnic in 1981. Since then he has worked in a range of new media formats, from documentary and experimental films, to video art installations, and photography. His work has appeared throughout Italy, as well as in England, Germany, Sweden, South Africa, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Japan, and China, and he has been featured in such major exhibitions as the Venice Biennial (2011), The Smithsonian Institute (2010) DieTropen (2008) Snap Judgments (2006) and Digital Africa (2003). He has taught film and video art in Art academies and Universities in Italy. He currently works between Rome and Berlin.

  • Interview of Theo Eshetu by Laura Leuzzi

  • Exhibitions:

    Solo and featured Shows

    2013
    Cinemafrica in Cineteca, Retrospective, Cinema Trevi, Rome
    2011
    Circus Maximus, Video Projection for a concert by Alvin Curran, Integra Festival,
    Royal Danish Conservatory and Moderna Música festival, Centro del Carmen, Valencia.
    ART AT WORK pavilion VISIONARY AFRICA Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso CARMEN IN FINE video theatrical performance by Massimo Verdastro
    2010
    Brave New World, Museum of African Art, The Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC
    2009
    The Return of The Aksum Obelisk, UNESCO Head quarters Paris and FAO head quarters Rome.
    Ars & Navis, Arsenale di La Spezia. Italy
    2008
    Retrospective IN VIDEO festival Milano
    I Racconti del Mandala, Teatro Colosseo Rome
    Teatro Civico di Carrara
    Five For Monk Video & Dance St Stevens, Theatre w. Roberta Garrison
    2007
    Buio in Sala, Sala Principe dei Piemonti, Viareggio
    Made In Italy, Retrospective Theo Eshetu Filmstudio Rome Featured Artist
    South of the Other, The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar Poughkeepsie, USA
    2006
    Meditation on African Light, Baltimore Museum of Art, USA
    2005
    Africanized, retrospective The videos of Theo Eshetu, Padova, Verona and Bari.
    2004
    Films of Theo Eshetu Presented at BAM Cinemateque, New York
    Monografia Elettronica, Zo cultural Centre, Catania.
    Special Event presentation of Body and Soul, Venice Film Festival
    2003
    Blood, Museo Laboratorio dell’Università La Sapienza, Rome
    Digital Africa at Electronic Arts Intermix/ Dia Foundation/African Film Festival, New York, USA
    2002
    Africanized, presented at the 58th Venice Film Festival
    1999
    Brave New World, MACRO (Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea), Roma.
    1998
    La nascita di Dioniso, (installation) Museo de arte italiano, Lima (Perù)
    1996
    University of Addis Abeba, Dept. Of Social Anthropology
    1995
    Retrospective at Arcipelago 3, Osservatorio sul cinema Italiano, Cinema Savoy,Rome
    Il gatto e la volpe, Galleria Pio Monti, Rome
    1994
    Museum of modern and contemporary art, Nice, France
    Chef Bien Resistes, Museum of Contemp. Art, Arezzo
    Mass Memory, 50° Venice Film Festival, Venezia
    Arte & Jeans, Minimi Rilievi, Passage de Retz, Paris
    Mill Valley Film Festival, San Francisco, USA.
    La Nascita di Dionisio, Galleria Cesare Manzo, Pescara
    1993
    Museo del Cinema, Torino
    Zapping, Galleria Nova, Rome
    1992
    ICA, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK
    Videodistorsioni, Sulmonacinema, Italia
    Artel, Galleria Comunale, Cagliari. TER Int. Exhibition of Cont. Art, Termoli.
    1990
    Il Luogo della complessità, Museo Laboratorio dell’Università La Sapienza, Rome.
    1989
    Studio D’ars, Milan
    1987
    Monitors, Galleria MR/Goethe Institute, Rome. Video Art Italiana, Galleria Civica, Monza
    1985
    Video Wall installation at Saint Louis, Music City, Rome
    1983
    The Portrait part One, New International Gallery, Rome

    Group Shows, Video and Film Festivals

    2013
    IkonoTV On Air Festival, International Videoart Festival broadcast on livestream 2013 Probebühne 1, Humboldt Lab, Ethnographic Museum Dahlem
    2012
    Agency of Unrealized Projects, Daad galerie, Berlin
    CORPO ELECTRONICO, Complesso monumentale del San Giovanni, Catanzaro.
    AFRICA RISING Cloitre des Billettes, Paris
    Singolarità mobili che abitano uno spazio nomade, Casa dei teatri Villa Doria Pamphilj, Rome
    2011
    VENICE BIENNALE, L’Arte Non è Cosa Nostra, Arsenale di Venezia, Padiglione Italia, Venezia.
    Cinema e Diversità Culturale, Palladium Rome
    Eyes al Asiatica Film Mediale MACRO Testaccio, Rome
    Roma al festival di video art Roma
    2010
    Roma Film Festival, Casa del Cinema Rome
    MACRO Video Drink, curated by M.M. Gazzano, MACRO, Rome
    CAOS II Curato da Rafaelle Gavarro Isola di San Servolo Venezia.
    EVENTS OF THE SELF, portraiture and Social Identity, curated by Okwui Enwesor
    The Walther Collection, Neu Ulm Germany.
    GEO-Graphics, a map of art practices in Africa past and present
    Curated by Koyo Kouoh, David Adjaye BOZAR Pallais Des Beaux Arte, Brussels.
    The Tropics, curated by Alfons Hug The Jim Thompson Art Center Bangkok.
    African Film Festival at the New Museum, New York.
    Look At Festival, Fondazione Ragghianti, Lucca.
    Festival Archipelago, Rome.
    2009
    The Tropics IZIKO National Gallery of South Africa Cape Town
    Message in a Bottle, theater performance Arsenale di La Spezia
    AFRICA REFLECTED, The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
    Non Angli Sed Angeli: a Pilgrimage a Mission Venerable English College Rome
    Fish Eye Cinema L’Aquila Rome
    2008
    Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, USA
    The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
    Die Tropen Views from the middle of the globe, Martin Gropius-Bau. Berlin.
    2007
    Equatorial Rhythms, Stenersen Museum, Oslo.
    Snap Judgments, Miami Art Central, USA.
    National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa/Canada
    Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico
    OS TROPICOS Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília
    Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil – Rio de Janeiro
    2006
    SNAP JUDGMENTS, ICP International Centre For Photography, New York
    On Air Videos from Italy, Milano
    Electro Shock-30 Years of Italian Video art Guangdong Museum of Art
    Central Academy of Fine Arts, Peking.
    c/o Careof Milan
    Codes of Culture Video art from 5 Continents, Argentina.
    Video in onda dall ‘Italia In Loop, Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, Florence
    2005
    AFRICA REMIX Contemporary Art from The African Continent The Hayward Gallery, London
    MACRO, Videoteca, presentation of Body and Soul, Rome
    2004
    Living For the City, installation, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
    The Creation Trilogy presented at Sulmona Film Festival
    On Air, Galleria Comunale di Arte Contemporanea, Montefalcone
    2003
    Europalia FNAC, Bruxelles
    Museo Laboratorio di Arte contemporanea, La Sapienza, Roma
    Video Zone Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv Cinemateque
    Museum of Modern Art. Video Zone Selection Shijiazhuang Museum China Art Is Easy in Tour with Fluxus Show, Hommage to Charlotte Moorman, USA
    2002
    Net Image Live video VJ contest, Milano
    PRIX ITALIA, Teatro Massimo, Palermo
    2001
    Museum of African Art, New York
    Ways To A Void, Palazzo Degli Esposizioni, Roma
    Electro Shock 30 years of Italian Video Art, Acquario Romano and MACRO, Roma
    2000
    Trans Africana(video installation) Chiesa Di San Giorgio, Bologna Cinema Ferrovia, Udine
    INPUT 2000, Halifax, Canada
    The New York African Film Festival, Lincoln Centre, New York, USA
    Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA
    1999
    Festival del Cinema Africano, Milano
    Visibilità Zero, Goethe Institute, Rome
    Golem Video festival, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Torino
    Sithengi, Cape Town, South Africa
    Lavori In Corso, Macro, Roma
    1998
    In-video Milano
    Festival di Cinema Africano, Milano
    Dublin Film Festival
    Fespaco/Input Ouagadadougou, Burkina Faso
    Vues D’afrique, Quebec, Canada
    WWVF, Amsterdam Holland
    Incontri sul Video, La Spezia
    Balafon ’98 Film Festival,Bari
    Istituto Giapponese di Cultura, Roma
    1997
    University of Addis Abeba, University of Berkeley California, USA
    Pesaro Film festival, Pesaro
    Autheur film Festival Belgrade
    Mill valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, Ca, USA
    NFT London Film Festival, Video Art Plastique, France
    1996
    Riciclart, Art and Recycling at the Slaughterhouse, Rome
    Kind of blue, jazz film festival, Milan
    1995
    Preserviamoci, Rome. Art & Film Festival, Bratislava
    La Città Ideale Fiumara d’arte, Sicily
    Artisti per Opening, American Academy, Rome
    AFRICANA , Sala Uno, Roma
    Pandaemonium London Festival of Moving Images, ICA, London
    Un anno Italiano in video, Superstudio, Milano
    Arcipelago, Cinema Augustus Rome
    Inverso sud, AversaFilmFestival 1996, Aversa
    Recycle Mattatoio, Roma
    Art For All, Pallazzo Braschi, Rome
    Workshop “Arte elettronica e Linguaggi televisivi”, RAI, Rome
    1994
    Opera Stabile, Roma
    Mondi Virtuali Sala Umberto, Rome
    Dov’é il Video Museo Lab. di arte contemp. La Sapienza, Rome
    Video les Beaux Jours Stasbourg, France
    Goteborg Int. Film Festival, Sweden
    Deutscher Videokunstpreis 1994, ZKM, Karlsruhe
    1993
    Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
    I.ME.RE.C. Marseille
    INPUT 93 Bristol, UK
    In-Video, Aiace, Milano (also in 1994 ‘98 ’01)
    Da Sodoma a Hollywood, Torino Gay Film Festival, Torino
    Video les Beux Jour, Strasbourg, France
    Museo dell Cinema, Torino
    TTVV , Festival of video and Theater, Riccione
    Anteprima, Concorso Gabbiano D’oro, Independent film fest
    Bellaria Edinburgh Film Festival, Scotland
    Xenografia, The Venice International Biennale of art, Venezia
    2emme video week, Geneva
    Ondavideo, Pisa
    Prix Italia, “Il teatro in televisione”, Rome
    Filmladen Kassel, Peter Greenaway & Theo Eshetu, Kassel, Germany INPUT, Bristol, UK
    1992
    Berlin Video Fest 92, Berlin (also 1993)
    Promo Image Festival, Pala Expo, Rome
    7th Australian int. film Festival, Sydney
    ARTEL Electronic Media In Visual Arts In Italy, Galleria Comunale D’Arte, Cagliari
    Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto,
    Melkweg, Amsterdam
    London Film Festival, Museum of Moving Images, London
    ICA, Institute of contemporary Arts, London
    Cinema Indipendente Italiano, Berlin
    Video Teatro ’90, Expo 92, Seville, Spain
    Sulmona Cinema, Videodistorsioni, Italia
    Goethe Institutes in Latin America
    European video art in the 90ies, Festival of poetry and image, Dense, Denmark
    1991
    Video Arte Italiana, Eventi, Italian Cultural Institute, Madrid
    Theo Eshetu/Alexander Hahn, Swiss Cultural Institute, Rome
    1990
    Italian Cultural Institute, Rio de Janerio, Brazil
    1989
    Televisions Melbourne Lygon Arts Festival, Melbourne, Australia, (also 1990) Video Bienal, Lubijana
    Festival de Video Musical, Victoria Gasteiz
    Video Art Plastique, Herouville Saint-Clair (also in 1990, ’93)
    Studio D’Ars, Milane
    1988
    MIPCOM, Cannes (also in 1990, ’92)
    Art for Africa, Goteborg Konstmuseum, Goteborg
    Fukui International Video Biennale, Fukui, Japan (also in 1989)
    Manif. Int. Video & TV, Montbeliard, France
    European Media Arts Festival, Experimentalfilm Workshop, Osnabrùck, RFT
    AVE, Arnhem, Holland (aslo in 1989)
    1987
    Fest Rio, Rio de Janeiro (also in 1988)
    Video CD 87, Lubijana
    Kunst for Africa, Sonja Henies-Onstads, Oslo
    Filmer a tout prix, Bruxelles; Ars Elettronica, Linz (also in 1989)
    International Art Show for the End of World Hunger, Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, Minnisota, USA
    World Wide Video Festival, The Hague, (also in 1987, ’88, ’89, ’92,’99)
    Input, Granada, Spain
    Point ’87, Beaubourg, Paris
    Videonale, Bonn
    Europe Copyright, Beaubourg, Paris
    Festival Video Arte, Messina (also in 1989, ‘1991)
    Electrovisions, Tokyo, Japan
    1986
    Festival di Camerino, Camerino
    Prato-Expo, Fortezza da Basso, Florence
    Tre volte video, Rome. Montecatini Film & Video Festival
    1985
    Festival du Noveau Cinema, Montreal, (also in 1989, 1992)
    Film-Maker, Milano (also in 1988 and 1990)
    EU-Video, l’Immagine Elettronica, Bologna
    Espace lyonaise d’Art Contemporaine, Lyon, France, (also in 1987)
    Teleconfronto, Chianciano Terme, Italia
    1984
    Video Art, Locarno, (also in 1985, ‘86 ’87, ’89, ’90 ’92, ’95, ’96 ’99)
    U-Tape, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Center of Video Arte, Ferrara (also in 1987, ’89, ’90)
    1982
    Festival Cinema Giovanni di Torino, Italy (also in 1987, 1989 and 2000)
    Salso Film & TV Festival, Salsomaggiore ( also from 1983, al 1989)
    Video Roma 1982/1983, Rome.

  • Videography:

    2013
    Kiss the Moment, video installation, (DAAD)
    The Yule Tree, video, 6 mins
    Double Feature Picture Show, video, 16 mins (Visionary Africa/BOZAR)
    2012
    View from Bar Olympia, video installation (The Lamu Series)
    The Festival of Sacrifice, video installation, Corpo Elettronico Catanzaro (The Lamu Series)
    2011
    Veiled Woman on a Beachfront, video installation, Venice Biennale (The Lamu Series)
    Eyes, 4 mins.
    2010
    Circus Maximus, Live video projections for musical concert (w Alvin Curran)
    Lightning Strikes, video 6 min.
    ROMA video/film w Alvin Curran
    ROMA AMOR LABYRINTHOS video projectin project w Peter Maxwell Davis
    2009
    The Return of Axum Obelisk video installation, UNESCO
    Living Room Music video/music w Alvin Curran (and others)
    From This World to That which is to Come, Video projection, The Venerable English College
    Ars Navi, video installation, Arsenale di La Spezia, Italy
    2008
    Message in a Bottle, Video theatre performance, with XLab Factory
    Five for Monk, Video projection for choreography by Roberta Garrison
    2007
    K LIVE with the Soul Circus, Enzimi MACRO Roma
    K Alma videotape/installation 23 mins. ( Castello Odescalchi, Braciano)
    K Kino, videotape/installation 34 mins.(Comune di Viareggio)
    I Racconti del Mandala video-musical-theatrical performance, with XLab Factory
    Cruelly Coy video-musical performance with Sabina Meyer (Berio, Cage, Scelsi)
    2006
    Meditation Light, video installation (Baltimore Museum of Art)
    Brave New World II (Second version)
    An Extraordinary Event, documentary on the Popes Funerals. 52 mins.
    Terra e Musica, Interactive DVD, with Peter Maxwell Davies. (CEMAT)
    Un Parto Particolare, videotape (w Time Berne) 8 mins.
    2005
    The Creation Trilogy, videotape and installation, 60 min.
    Trip to Mt. Zugualla, video installation. (Snap Jugments, International Centre for Photography)
    Roma Caput Mundi, videotape 10 mins. (Jack Shanman Gallery)
    2004
    Body and Soul V.3, Videotape, 40 mins.
    Un Capodanno di Musica, documentary on a music festival 48 mins. (CEMAT)
    2003
    BLOOD, multimedia installation Museo Laboratorio Roma
    Africa of the Four Rivers, Documentary natural reserve parks, 45 mins.
    2002
    Ways to a Void, Videotape/film, Trip to the Himalayas 54 mins
    Africanized, Video/film 35 mins.
    The Art Show, Documentary on George Segal, 30 mins.
    2001
    Senritsumirai, Documentary on Contemporary Japanese art, 30 mins.
    The Tiger and the Lotus flower, Documentary on Tibetan Carpets, 30 mins.
    2000
    Ways to a Void (first version) Videotape/film, 60min.
    Dialogue with Yves Klein, Documentario on Yves Klein, 30 min.
    1999
    Brave New World (Anima Mundi), Video installation *
    Appunti per un ritratto su Borromini, Portrait of Borromini, 30min.
    Una Parabola a Venezia, Documentary on The Venice Biennal, 30 mins.
    1998
    Kebra Negast, Documentary on The Legend of the Queen of Sheba, 30 mins.
    1997
    Blood is not Fresh Water, Videotape,57 mins.****
    1996
    Art is Easy, videotape, (on Fluxus), 26 mins.
    La Nascità Di Dioniso, Video installation
    1995
    Sogno Della Città Ideale, (Dream of the Ideal City) Video/documentary, 45 mins.
    1994
    Mass Memory, Video/Film (on Federico Fellini’s Funeral), 8 mins.
    Uno a Me, Uno a Te, Uno a Raffaello, collaboration with Jon Jost
    Horses, Videotape, 6 mins.
    1992
    Travelling Light Videotape (A Portrait of Lindsay Kemp), 58 mins.
    1990
    La Madonna Delle Rose video installation
    La Madonna Di Theo Eshetu Videotape, 18 mins.
    1989
    Nativity, Videotape, 15 mins.
    1987
    L’Altro Mondo (The Other World) Videotape, 13 mins.
    Seshoku, Videotape,18 mins.
    Till Death Us Do Part, Video installazione
    1986
    That’s Life (Questa E’ Vita) videotape, 12 mins.
    1985
    Back To Zero, videotape, 11 min.
    My Better Half, videotape, 18 mins. and video Installation,
    1984
    Live Death (La Morte in Diretta), video performance
    Antother Time Another Place, Videotape 8 mins.
    1983
    Video Domestici, Ambient Videos 6 x 60 mins.
    Rites of Passage, videotape, 10 mins.
    1982
    Thunder and Lightning, videotape, 20 mins.

    1979-1981 (Student Films)
    Commercial Break
    Lord them Places Must be Sharp, w Steve Mears, based on the Lonely Londoners by Samuel Selvon
    So This is Now, collaboration w John Maybury
    The Fashion Show, collaboration with Terry Flaxton and triple Vision
    The Bowler Hat

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