X Privacy, Reflections on these aspects of the human condition as they are, his works of art in this exhibition are a sort of wondering about whatever happened to human interaction. “I enjoy, and need such interaction,” he says.
The prelude to producing this collection of works of art starts with an itch to quench the thirst for knowledge, at least in Dawit’s mind. In what may be a parallel with human history, his intuitive examinations led him to thinking whether what started out as such simple curiosity in the minds of early humans evolved into devising ways and means of discovering, inventing and producing tools for easing the burden of going about the mundane tasks of their everyday lives. It has never remained static, this cycle of probing and innovation. What was the epitome of a generation’s knowledge and greatest discovery may not be so for the generations that follow, Dawit observes.
But what started out in such humble beginnings has mankind reaching for the stars, according to Dawit. He generalizes this urge through the ever-unquenchable human behavior to search for knowledge, and, arguably, through the insatiable behavior of the race’s “need” to dominate and conquer as much of its reality as it can reach – both the worldly (from human-to-human domination to its domination of nature and the planet) and the outer-worldly.
Attachment to material possessions was born out of the interaction between such pursuit for knowledge and innovation that made materials available to everyone, and conforming a necessity, as Dawit sees it. As a result, “modern” man as we know it emerged, he reasons. From people on the road constantly glued to their cell phones to those sitting for hours on end in front of their computer screens – be it for leisure or business, at home or at work – this attachment has become a defining prototype of humanity at its best.
In the course of exploring these ideas, and experimenting with it on canvas, Dawit stumbled across the idea of how humanity has come to the point of a new-found need to monitor and control human activity – at least the in the physical realm – all in the name of the “collective good.” He depicts this as having been conveniently in place since the human race is already wired into this system of being easily survey-able through its already established attachment to its material possessions.
“Where is this privacy to begin with,” he wonders. “After all, I am not alone,” he says, referring to the debate between his carnal and spiritual selves that constantly take place. He further questions the possibility of genuine privacy by illustrating whether the presence of the human conscience – that mechanism of checks-and-balances within the self, that “eye in the sky” that no one can hide from – makes privacy virtually impossible since it entails acting within the framework of that conscience.
Dawit intends to present these artworks as inquisitive of these concepts in themselves, rather than restricting the perception of his audience to his beliefs. “I have attempted to express them as works of queries representative of different periods,” he says. “It’s also an effort to present each so that one may be able to freely traverse through the works, and ideas raised.”