Eric Gottesman is an American artist and community arts practitioner working primarily in photography and video. Most significantly, for over a decade he has worked with Sudden Flowers, a children’s art collective that he co-founded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The work of Sudden Flowers, and Gottesman’s collaborations with them, has been exhibited throughout Ethiopia as well as internationally. Paths That Cross Cross Again focuses primarily on text and images produced in the context of Gottesman’s relationship with one person within the art collective–Tenanesh Kifyalew, a 12-year-old girl who died in 2004.
The exhibition is placed within the context of Gallery TPW’s history working with documentary photography and more recently within the field of politicized relational aesthetics–a set of artistic practices that performs and interrogates the social contexts of human relations. As such, the installation is based on acknowledging the complexities and complicities of working transnationally across difference and privilege. The figure/ground relationship serves as a framework for posing a series of questions regarding image/text, subject/artist and world/ institution. This exhibition asks whether it is possible to experience images on multiple registers simultaneously and rework such binary understandings of the image and its production.