Dawit L. Petros
Courtesy Dawit L. Petros, photo by Josée Pedneault
Dawit L. Petros is a visual artist, researcher and educator. His work is informed by studies of global modernisms, theories of diaspora, and postcolonial studies. Throughout the past decade, he has focused on a critical re-reading of the entanglements between colonialism and modernity. These concerns derive from lived experiences: Petros is an Eritrean emigrant who spent formative years in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kenya before settling in central Canada. The overlapping cultures, voices, and tenets of this constellation produced a dispersed consciousness, global and transnational in stance and outlook. His works aim for an introspective and textured analysis of the historical factors that produced these migratory conditions. Petros installs photographs, moving images, sculptural objects, and sound work according to performative, painterly, or site responsive logics. Moving between the works echoes the extensive travel taken to produce them; while recurrent visual or formal devices quietly indicate the complex backdrops against which his projects are set.
Petros completed the Whitney Independent Study Program, an MFA in Visual Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University; a BFA in Photography from Concordia University and a BA in History from the University of Saskatchewan. Recent exhibition venues include Oslo Kunstforening, Oslo, Norway; 13th Biennial of Havana, Matanzas; The Kansas City Art Institute’s H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City, MO; Huis Marseille Museum of Photography, Amsterdam, NL; The Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University, Athens, OH; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NYC; The National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, MI; The Durban Art Gallery in Durban, SA; Medina Galerie Mediatheque in Bamako, Mali; The Royal Ontario Museum of Art in Toronto, ON and The Lianzhou International Photo Festival in Lianzhou, China. His works have been recognized with awards including a Terra Foundation Research Fellow, the Paul De Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award in Art Photography, the Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography, an Art Matters Fellowship, Canada Council for the Arts Production Grants, and Artist Residencies at The Studio Museum in Harlem, The McColl Center for Visual Art, Addis Ababa Photo Fest and an Independent Study Fellowship at the Whitney Museum of American Art..
Dawit L. Petros is an Associate Professor in the Department of Photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is represented by Tiwani Contemporary in London, UK and Bradley Ertaskiran in Montreal, Canada.