Exhibition Dates: October 14 – November 11, 2023
Official Exhibition Opening: October 14, 2023
ABUJA, NIGERIA – Windsor Gallery is pleased to present Duality of One, a solo exhibition of world renowned educator, cultural entrepreneur, photojournalist, curator and photographer, Aïda Muluneh – featuring 15 artworks made between 2014 – 2019 from 8 of her prominent photo collections.
Curated by Richard Vedelago and Theo Allanso, Duality of One delves into the complexities of the human psyche, shedding light on the inherent dual nature within each individual. The exhibition unveils the nuanced aspects of our personas and seeks to emphasize the idea that within every person exists a dichotomy – a juxtaposition of contrasting traits and roles we present to the world.
Aïda Muluneh’s inspiration is rooted in her homeland Ethiopia, but the issues she addresses resonate beyond its borders. They encompass a broader African reality— a continent grappling with its multifaceted identity tied to a colonial past. This brings about instability and conflict. Through vivid imagery, the artist confronts the battles we face within ourselves and in the world.
The Wolf You Feed (2014) deals with themes of human nature and delves into the choices we make and their profound impact in transforming our world. It prompts
us to question if we choose to remain passive or become agents of change. Having resided in Addis Ababa for nearly a decade, Muluneh reflects on the quest for perfection in an imperfect world.
The World Is 9 (2016) invites us to ponder questions about who we are as people, about life, love and history. It emphasizes the need for strength in a world filled with uncertainty.
Inspired by the Cuban film “Memories in Underdevelopment,” the Memories in Development (2017) collection delves into the intricate relationship between political structures and the evolving societies in Africa. It prompts reflection on the impact poor leadership has on the society and our personal lives.
The Distant Gaze (2017) draws from images captured by foreign photographers of Ethiopian and Eritrean women. In this collection, Muluneh challenges the objectification and commodification of the black female body. She reimagines and reinterprets these images, sparking a vital conversation about the portrayal of women and the contemporary issues they face.
Memory of Hope (2017) is a call to action to become a catalyst of change. It highlights the darkness in humanity in our refusal to acknowledge the suffering of others. By choosing to remain passive while the world burns, we are complicit in the deterioration of society.
Addressing the critical issue of water access, Water Life (2018) highlights its profound impact on women in rural regions. Through her powerful images, Muluneh underscores the vital role water plays in women’s liberation, health, sanitation, and education. She emphasizes the urgency of supporting access to water in these communities, where women often bear the disproportionate burden of fetching water for their households.
Drawing from her experiences in Addis Ababa, Muluneh’s visual language is rooted in photojournalism and poetry. Mirror of Soul (2019) becomes an intimate expression of Muluneh’s innermost thoughts and experiences.
Echoing Emily Dickinson’s sentiment, “Wings That Soar” (2019) collection embodies hope as a resilient force. These images serve as a testament to the enduring power of hope, even in the face of adversity. Through each piece, Muluneh reminds us of the strength we posses as individuals and as a collective.
Muluneh’s collections offer a profound journey through the complexities of human existence, inviting us to reflect, question, and act. Her art transcends boundaries, speaking to the universal truths that bind us all. In this exhibition, we find not only a celebration of her artistic prowess, but also a mirror held up to our own identities, complexities and potential for change.
Join us at Windsor Gallery (Abuja) for this extraordinary presentation celebrating Aïda Muluneh’s long established practice and profound work with local and international institutions.
About Aïda Muluneh Born in Addis Ababa in 1974, Muluneh graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C with a degree from the Communication Department with a major in Film. Her photography has been published widely and can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, Hood Museum, The RISD Museum of Art, and the Museum of Biblical Art in the United States.
She was the 2007 recipient of the European Union Prize in the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie in Bamako, Mali, the 2010 winner of the CRAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy, and the 2018 CatchLight Fellow in San Francisco, USA. In 2019, she became the first black woman to co
curate the Nobel Peace Prize exhibition and in the following year, she returned as a commissioned artist for the prize.
She has been a jury member for several photography competitions, most notably the Sony World Photography Awards and the World Press Photo Contest in 2017. She has also been on various panel discussions on photography, including the African Union Cultural Summit, Art Basel, TEDx/Johannesburg, and the Sem Presser Lecture at the World Press Photo Festival in Amsterdam in 2019.
A Canon Ambassador, Muluneh founded the Addis Foto Fest (AFF), the first international photography festival in East Africa held since 2010 and the Africa Foto Fair established in Côte d’Ivoire. Through her new venture, she has also established the Africa Foto Fair virtual publication that brings emerging and established talents to the global photography community.