April 2–July 1, 2012
The Jones Center
Ezra Wube’s Amora is a film that defies singular categorization. In this silent video work, viewers witness a journey through the merging of past and present. Wube combines text and imagery through stop motion animation. He overlaps letters written in the Ethiopian ancient language of Amharic with nomadic figures traveling across a landscape signified by an indistinct map. Wube continues mixing time by using Sumi ink to create his narrative. The ink is traditionally used in Sumi-e paintings, a 2000 year old form of Japanese brush painting. And instead of a canvas, Wube paints directly onto his studio window, washing away the ink after filming each scene. The window is covered in acetate, generating a frost effect, but still allowing for visibility. Wube takes his title from Endeamora, a popular Ethiopian love song written by Jazz singer Alemayehu Eshete. The video’s Amharic script is an excerpt from the song and translates to “like a big bird I will grow wings and fly away.” This is a fragmentary message about the protagonist’s love for Endeamora and the journey to receive her love. Images of distorted construction workers in action serve as the intersecting background to Wube’s narrative and bridge the historical with the contemporary.
Ezra Wube received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in 2004 and his MFA from Hunter College in 2009. Solo and group exhibitions include Rush Arts Gallery, NY; Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY; and CologneOFF, Morocco. Wube was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and is based in Santa Cruz, California. This is his first presentation in Texas.