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A Memory of Astoria (detail). Courtesy of the artist.


A Memory of Astoria

Jul 22, 2017 — Mar 11, 2018

Location: Schlosser Media Wall

2014. Ezra Wube (b. 1980, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, lives in Brooklyn). Animation. 1,756 frames, photographed from canvas with oil paint. 4 minutes.

Ezra Wube works with video, installation, drawing, painting, and performance. Reflecting on his identity as a person of two cultures at the intersection of tradition and modern life, Wube makes work about the uncertainty of time and place and the malleability of memory.

A Memory of Astoria, commissioned by the Museum of the Moving Image, is an impressionistic portrait of the blocks surrounding this building. Wube walked the neighborhood to observe the area’s confluence of cultures, focusing on everyday moments, sights, and sounds. He reconstituted these experiences into a poetic visual collage, inserting himself as a silhouetted observer exploring the memories of his walks.

The production of A Memory of Astoria was an intensive, months-long process, with each frame painted in sequence on top of the last. The result is striking: street scenes assemble and disassemble, leaving visible marks of the past as if time and space have melted together. Through these impressions, Wube reveals a diverse, rapidly changing neighborhood that the Museum has called home for more than 30 years.

Support provided by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts