The Power Plant - 231 Queens Quay W, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2G8
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This publication is being released in conjunction with Dawit L. Petros’s exhibition Spazio Disponibile, held at The Power Plant, January 17–September 7, 2020, and at the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, September 24, 2020–May 15, 2021.
Spazio Disponibile—Italian for “Available Space”—underlines the unexplored links between colonization, migrations, and modernism, while scrutinizing historical gaps in European memory, particularly that of modern Italy. Alluding to vacant advertising sections that appeared in Rivista Coloniale, a widely circulated magazine of the early twentieth century and the official organ of the Italian colonial project, the title is also a reference to the colonial gaze that viewed the lands of Africa as “available” space to occupy and exploit.
Petros’s art reflects his research into the complex layers of colonial and post-colonial histories connecting East Africa and Europe. Employing archival materials collected over a period of seven years—documents that attest to the Italian presence in Ethiopia and Eritrea between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—Petros has developed an expansive suite of works that reflect on the lingering effects of colonial memory.
The publication features reproductions of Petros’s exhibitions at The Power Plant and UB Galleries, including photographs, serigraphs, video, and sculpture that highlight the ties between the contemporary resurgence of nationalism and a suppressed colonial past. These images are paired with a foreword by Gaetane Verna, a text by exhibition curator Irene Campolmi, and essays from Sean Anderson, Teresa Fiore, Fabrizio Gallanti, Elizabeth Harney, Ghirmai Negash, Liz Park, and Tak Pham.
Publisher: The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and UB Art Galleries
The Power Plant is Canada's leading art gallery devoted exclusively to contemporary art by artists from Canada and the world. We aim to share art with wider audiences through free admission to our exhibitions, public programs, and educational publications.