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Dawit L. Petros: Spazio Disponibile

September 24, 2020–May 15, 2021

UB Anderson Gallery, First Floor


Schedule Appointment



Dawit L. Petros’s art stems from his research into the complex layers of colonial histories that connect East Africa and Europe. Spazio Disponibile—Italian for “Available Space”—is an exhibition of photo, video, and sound that scrutinizes historical gaps in memory, particularly that of modern Italy. Alluding to vacant advertising sections that appeared in Rivista Coloniale, a widely circulated early twentieth-century magazine and the official organ of the Italian colonial project, the title is also a reference to the colonial gaze that viewed the lands of Africa as available space to occupy and exploit.

Dawit L. Petros (born 1972, Asmara, Eritrea) lives and works in Chicago and Montreal. He received his MFA in Visual Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, Boston; a BFA in Photography from Concordia University, Montreal; a BFA in History from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; and completed the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. Recent exhibitions have been held at the 13th Havana Biennial, Matanzas, Cuba (2019); Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca (2019); Bamako Encounters Biennale, Mali (2017); Dakar Biennale, Senegal (2018); Prospect.4, New Orleans (2017); and the Walther Collection Project Space, New York (2016). Petros is an assistant professor at the Department of Photography, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


The exhibition is organized and circulated by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, sponsored by The TD Ready Commitment and supported by Lead Donor Lonti Ebers. Additional support for the tour is provided by Canada Council for the Arts and The Gilder.