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The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is delighted to introduce the Artists-in-Residence 2016: Camila Lobos, Saeri Kiritani (both spring 2016) and Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew (from October 2016)

Berhanu Ashagrie is an Ethiopian visual artist and a lecturer at the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design. He graduated with BFA from the same school and further studied and graduated with MA in Fine Arts from Utrecht Graduate School of the Arts in the Netherlands. Berhanu has critically been engaged with various individual and collective artistic projects inside and outside studio environment. Multidisciplinary creative outcomes of his projects have been shown in different countries; some of which are Ethiopia, Germany, Netherlands, France, Georgia, Italy, Greece and Spain. In the last few years, Berhanu has actively been working on issues that come along with change / development / transformation / modernization activities of urban spaces and places and the human conditions in it. He has been engaged through process based creative production activities that generates open-ended possibilities to interact, engage, discuss, react and imagine; beyond the everyday. He also strongly believes in participation and collaboration through creative production processes, in which he has managed to use different creative approaches without boundaries on the materiality, performativity and interactivity of his artworks.

Berhanu © Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew

Berhanu has also been actively coorganizing, participating and contributing in different conferences, workshops, seminars, festivals, educational and professional projects through various international platforms; some of which are Julie Mehretu: The Addis Show Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Bamako Biennale Telling Time Bamako (Mali), Festival of Future Nows Berlin (Germany), Video_Brasil Southern Panoramas Sao Paulo (Brazil), European Forum Alpbach seminar Inequality Alpbach (Austria), International Conference Future Memories Addis Ababa, Institute of Spatial Experiments Acting Archives Berlin, International Conference Sounds of Change Addis Ababa, Collective Public Art Project Moving Societies Addis Ababa, Tbilisi Triennial Offside Effect Tbilisi (Georgia), Studio Olafur Eliasson You’re here is Our Here Berlin.

Camila Lobos Díaz

„The space, more than a previous condition (a place), is the result of the activity, and has, therefore, a temporal dimension" (José Miguel Cortés, Políticas del Espacio , 2006)

How can art produce another visibility? This is one of the main topics of Camila Lobos’ art works. Living in a city like Santiago where social problems and the resulting strains have not been solved, but rather eradicated from public perception, the discourse about power and visibility leads to questioning the micro-political rank order, the interaction between space and human relationships, center and periphery, light and darkness, body and physical activity. In this sense, if we only think that what exists has to be visible, the encounter with Camila Lobos’ artwork brings the issue into our mind how we build the story of what is at the margins, at the limit of the visible? This is where Camila Lobos’ light intervention in public space becomes particularly political in the way it illuminates what it is in the dark. In Camila Lobos’ work, light appears in order to show, like a metaphor, the invisible existence of the other, which takes shape and transforms the borders and forms of ethic conventions.

1 Border, havana, cuba, 2014, light installation, © Camila Lobos

Camila Lobos Díaz, born 1988 in Santiago, Chile, studied fine arts at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and architecture at the University of Chile. As conceptual artist she works with installations, objects and public interventions.  Her works have been presented in 5 solo and 20 group exhibitions in different museums and galleries in Latin America (Chilean Museum of Contemporary Art, Telefónica Foundation, Chilean Bank of the Estate Gallery, Al Cubo Gallery, Santiago, Chile), also in the 12º Havana Biennale.

Saeri Kiritani

Saeri Kiritani is a Japanese visual artist living and working in New York City. Her works explore the interdependent relationships and sub-contexts of meaning between 'insider' and 'outsider' groups, and the associated experiences of comfort and disturbance that arise from these. Her video installation entitled Room B-29 (2013) was exhibited at The Project Biennial of Contemporary Art (located in an atomic bomb shelter in Bosnia). In this piece, a phantom from Hiroshima is trapped in a transitory world somewhere between life and death. In Saeri's life-size self-portrait sculpture entitled 100 Pounds of Rice (2003-2010), she is literally and symbolically reconstituted out of rice. Rice is a cultural signifier of Asian identity which sometimes carries both positive and negative connotations. This sculpture illuminates the conflicted relationship immigrants have with such cultural signifiers, which are both familiar and comforting but also serve as markers of difference and components of stereotypes. The amorphous amalgamation of individual identity and cultural stereotype is further evoked by the sculptural pedestal, a mountain of rice, that the figure both triumphantly emerges out of or drowns into. This work was exhibited at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Kiritani Dario Solman © Saeri Kiritani.

She has had solo exhibitions at several museums and galleries including the City Museum (Split, Croatia), The International Center (New York City), and the Inform Gallery (Kanazawa, Japan). Her selected works have been exhibited in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC., the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the Croatian Association of Artists Museum, the Louvre Museum in Paris and various group shows at galleries in the US, Europe and Japan.