Artist/Curator Presentation: Dawit L. Petros and Irene Campolmi in Conversation



Dawit L. Petros

Dawit L. Petros is a visual artist, researcher, and educator. His work is informed by studies of global modernisms, theories of diaspora, and postcolonial studies. Throughout the past decade, he has focused on a critical re-reading of the entanglements between colonialism and modernity. These concerns derive from lived experiences: Petros is an Eritrea emigrant who spent formative years in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kenya before settling in central Canada. The overlapping cultures, voices, and tenets of this constellation produced a dispersed consciousness, global and transnational in stance and outlook. His works aim for an introspective and textured analysis of the historical factors that produced these migratory conditions. Petros installs photographs, moving images, sculptural objects, and sound work according to performative, painterly, or site responsive logics. Moving between the works echoes the extensive travel taken to produce them; while recurrent visual or formal devices quietly indicate the complex backdrops against which his projects are set.

Dawit L. Petros received his MFA in Visual Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, a BFA in Photography from Concordia University, a BFA in History from the University of Saskatchewan and completed the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Recent exhibitions have been held at the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial; 13th Havana Biennial in Matanzas, Cuba; Bamako Encounters Biennale, Mali; Dakar Biennale, Senegal; Prospect.4, New Orleans; Oslo Kunstforening, Oslo, Norway; Huis Marseille Museum of Photography, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

His work and research have been recognized with awards including a Terra Foundation Fellowship, The Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography, an Independent Study Fellowship at the Whitney Museum of American Art, an Art Matters Fellowship, Canada Council for the Arts Production Grants, and Artist Residencies at The Studio Museum in Harlem, The McColl Center for Visual Art, and Addis Ababa Photo Fest.

Dawit L. Petros is a co-founder with Heba Y. Amin of Black Athena Collective. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Dawit L. Petros is represented by Tiwani Contemporary in London, UK and Bradley Ertaskiran in Montreal, Canada.

Irene Camplomi

Irene Campolmi is a curator and a researcher based in Copenhagen, where for many years, she has focused her work on performance through which she has investigated postcolonial, queer and feminist theories. Her research and practice have also concentrated on creating the conditions to apply ethics in curatorial work. 

Since 2019, Irene Campolmi is the Head Art Program and Curator of Enter Art Program, a publicly funded satellite program of performances and talks in conjunction with Enter Art Fair. Together with Copenhagen Contemporary, she has won the Bikuben Vision Award 2021, Denmark’s most prestigious curatorial award, as the lead researcher and curator of the exhibition and research project” Yet, it Moves!”. 

Currently, she works as the Senior Curator for International Projects at Creator Projects in Copenhagen and has worked as an independent curator and a researcher for ten years within art museums and institutions across the world, including The Power Plant, Toronto; MAAT, Lisbon; Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen; MAH, Terceira; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, and the 58th Venice Biennial where she co-curated the Estonian Pavilion Birth V. Hi, & Bye by Kris Lemsalu. In the past, her curatorial research and practice have focused on curatorial ethics. Before joining the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen as a PhD Fellow (2013-2016), she worked as a researcher in the Max Planck Institute research group “Objects in the Contact Zone: The Cross-Cultural Life of Things”. 

Photo by: Julie Nymann.