fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Merikokeb Berhanu
La Biennale di Venezia

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Merikokeb Berhanu

1977, Ethiopia

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Brimming with abstract forms, at the blink of an eye Merikokeb Berhanu’s canvases become recognisable cosmologies and topographies, bearing with them evocations of nature and its universal rhythms. Berhanu’s series Cellular Universe pays homage to the cellular composition and reproductive bodies shared by many species: the rings of trees, embryos, orange seed pods, the brain, Fallopian tubes, and other such familiar forms. The artist, who hails from Addis Ababa, has inherited much from the legacies of Ethiopian Modernism. Her works feature depthless space, with figures and swaths of single-tone geometric shapes floating overlaid and intermingling with one another. In her most recent works, Berhanu has deepened her exploration of human design with the increased inclusion of technological objects, such as circuit boards and microchips. In Untitled LXX (2021), a cow floats inside an elliptical womb. Another looks over it from outside, perhaps a mother cow watching over her child. A green-wired motherboard hovers under the calf, like a dystopian, digital amniotic fluid. Berhanu incorporates technology into natural landscapes and organisms to convey a sense of urgency, speaking at once to the experience of rapid urbanisation that is taking hold in the country and continent of her birth, and also to the rampant consumerism of Western society.

Isabella Achenbach

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte