Theo Eshetu has worked in media art since 1982, creating installations, video art works, and television documentaries.
As a video maker, he explores the expressive capabilities of the medium and the manipulation of the language of television. Exploring themes and imagery from anthropology, art history, scientific research, and religious iconography, he attempts to define how electronic media shapes identity and perception. World cultures, particularly the relationship of African and European cultures, often inform Eshetuʼs work.Born in London in 1958, Eshetu spent part of his childhood in Ethiopia.In 1981 he received his degree in Communication Design from the North East London Polytechnic.
His work has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice; the 2nd Video Biennial of Fukui, Japan, and has participated at numerous Film Festivals such as the Venice Film Festival on three occasions; the London Film Festival; the Edinburgh Film Festival, the International Festival of Film on Art, Montreal; the New York African Film Festival. The Mill Valley Film Festival and many others. He has had solo shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, MLAC in Rome and the Museo di Arte Italiana in Lima among others.He received prizes at the Berlin Video Festival; the International African Film Festival, Milan; the Salso Maggiore Film and Video festival, the Locarno Video art and at the Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, Italy, among others. He has been resident the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Centre pour la video arte in Montbeliard and the ZKM. He participated at Lavori in Corso at the MACRO in Rome and Digital Africa at the EAI in New York. He was in Africa Remix at the Hayward gallery and in Snap Judgments, curated by Okwui Enwesor at the ICP in New York, the Stedelijk Museum the National Gallery of Canada in Toronto and the Museo Tamayo in Mexico among others. Equatorial Rhythms and "Die Tropen" which was held at the Martin Gropius-Bau in Berlin and the National Gallery of Cape Town in South Africa. He has participated in the project VISIONARY AFRICA at the BOZAR in the show GEO Graphics curated by Koyo Kouoh and Events of the Self: Portraiture and Social Identity: at the Walther Collection. In 2011 he participated the Sharjah Biennale and is present at the Venice Biennale 2011.
Since 1997 he has also worked as a director of cultural documentaries for RAI television and has taught Video Art in Art academies of Carrara and LʼAquila and the La Sapienza university of Rome. Recipient of a DAAD Artist in Residence grant Berlin 2012
Selected Video- filmography Till Death Us Do Part 1984-86; Questa é Vita (That's life) 1986; Nativity 17 min. 1988; La Madonna Di Theo Eshetu 1990; Travelling Light 1992; Mass Memory 1994; Horses 1995; Blood is not fresh water 1997; Una Parabola a Venezia, 1999; Brave New World 2000; Ways To A Void 2000; AFRICANIZED 2002; Body and Soul 2004; ROMA 2010; Veiled Woman on a Beachfront 2010; The Festival of Sacrifice 2011.