Ephrem Solomon portrays the distance between the governing and the governed, fleshing out tender subjects whose lives are marked by a lack of political agency and meaning. Solomon’s mixed media layering of human experience in his native Ethiopia are descriptive images of everyday life, that which is neither extraordinary nor uncommon. However, these seemingly mundane objects such as the artists’ signature chair and slippers are in fact catalysts in the elaboration of a broader political story. Unpacking the artist’s anecdotal imaginings, the emergence and reemergence of Solomon’s ‘Untitled’ characters, solemn-looking men and women, allude to the negotiation of will in the face of immobility and oppression. Suddenly, the chairs, slippers, and paper clippings become the characters of a personal narrative, recurring in meaningful ways as if torn from the pages of the artist’s own diary.

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