Sat Nov 23, 2019 - Thu Jan 9, 2020
Betelhem Makonnen and Stephanie Concepcion Ramirez’s artistic research converges in the meaning wavers. Each artist explores the opaque and refracted timelines of their life stories as migrants or children of migrants. With the absence of documentation from their families and homelands, transparent self-narratives are impossible. Makonnen and Ramirez disrupt traditional notions of language and photography, disallowing conventions to dictate in their practice and how they understand their positions in society, the world, and in time. This exhibition traces two journeys toward redefined perception and acceptance of not-knowing.
Stephanie Concepcion Ramirez is a Salvadoran-American artist from Prince George’s County, Maryland. She received her BFA at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and her MFA at The University of Texas at Austin. Ramirez currently works and lives in League City, Texas. Ramirez’ practice combines the language of photography with site-specific installations and text. Her work is based on notions of memory, personal and historical amnesia that trace the veins of the Central American diaspora.
A native of Ethiopia, Betelhem Makonnen currently lives in Austin, Texas. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; completed graduate coursework at the School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro; and holds a BA in History and Literature of the African Diaspora from The University of Texas at Austin. Working with video, photography and installations, Makonnen researches questions on perception, presence and place as they relate to her diasporic consciousness. Makonnen is also a curator at Fusebox Festival and co-founder of the Black Mountain Project art collaborative.
This project was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.