The Eye That Follows: Photographs by Dawit N.M.
Dawit N.M.’s story has many beginnings, including his early years in Ethiopia, his move to Hampton Roads, the catalyst for his interest in art, and more. The Eye That Follows: Photographs by Dawit N.M. at The Chrystler Museum of Art weaves the threads of his life together through images made in Hampton Roads, New York, and Ethiopia, as well as music videos and short films produced around the world.
A native of Ethiopia, Dawit moved to Hampton Roads when he was six years old so he and his mother could reconnect with his father, who was in the U.S. Navy. Boredom during a snowstorm sparked Dawit’s interest in film through video games. The then ninth-grader taught himself the craft and committed to a career in filmmaking. He would later come to still photography, a media he had previously disregarded, while attending Old Dominion University and working for the campus newspaper. When his father suffered a stroke, Dawit turned to his newfound interest to understand his father’s illness, eventually launching a long-term project that took him to Ethiopia and back. This exhibition chronicles these and other beginnings in his life with a multimedia meditation on seeing and not seeing, movement and immobility, and loss and devotion.