DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Ezra Wube


Hisab : animation video, 7’52”, 2011, Courtesy of the Artist.
Wenzu : animation video, 3’09”, 2011, Courtesy of the Artist.

Ezra Wube plays with notions of past and present in his stop action animation videos that draw from Ethiopian folklore. In Hisab, he uses the traditional technique of painting and combines it with digital recording. Hisab follows three characters, a goat, a donkey, and a dog, on their shared taxi ride. The goat does not pay the taxi fare; the donkey pays the exact fare; and the dog overpays. The folktale explains why goats run away from taxis (afraid to be asked for the fare), dogs chase after taxis (running for the change they are owed), and donkeys stand in the middle of the road (because they are even with the taximan). Wube uses the neighborhoods where he grew up as inspiration for the backdrop of Hisab to illustrate the transformation of Addis Ababa. In Wenzu, he uses salt, tomatoes, onions, teff, and lentils to animate the tale of Mr. Hyena and Ms. Donkey. Mr. Hyena accuses Ms. Donkey of dirtying the water even though she is drinking downstream from him. According to the artist, the folk tales are not as much about what it narrates but how they are told and what they represent in a contemporary setting. He seeks to capture and reexamine the everyday that is illustrated by these stories. The everyday is changing in Addis Ababa as communities evolve.

Ezra Wube was born in 1980 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). Ezra moved to the United States at the age of 18 and received his BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and an MFA from Hunter College, New York, NY. His works encompassing video, installations, drawing, painting and performance.

View online : www.ezrawube.net