Distributed Microtopias Exhibition




Ezra Wube | Ethiopia/United States

Mela (2011)

Guided by an artist’s hands, colorful paperclips move like caterpillars over the edges of buildings in Johannesburg, animating the lifeless cityscapes.  The colors of the paperclips evoke the utopic discourse of the Rainbow Nation in post-Apartheid South Africa, particularly ones used on maps of the involuntary migrations (mfecane or difaqane) of Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Xhosa, Zulu, and other nations due to environmental and political changes, along with the influx of Indians, Malays, and Europeans from abroad, as well as contemporary migrations from other parts of Africa.

Born in Addis Ababa, Ezra Wube 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). His work encompass video, installations, drawing, painting and performance.