Sunday, 3 April 2011

Armenian Syrian photographer Hrair Sarkissian "In between" dreamt of and post-Soviet realities in Armenia, at Tate Modern, London

Familiar pictures. Still, bizarre to see these grand Soviet-style buildings in the middle of nowhere.

Three works of Armenian Syrian photographer Hrair Sarkissian are exhibited (11 February - 17 April 2011) as part of Out of Place intimate display at Tate Modern in London.

Tate Modern writes: "Hrair Sarkissian’s In Between 2007 [Unzipped: as per Hrair Sarkissian website, see below, it's 2006] is a series of large-scale photographs of austere Soviet-style buildings left abandoned in the dramatic hills and valleys of rural Armenia. They register the paradox experienced by this Syrian artist of Armenian origin of ‘returning’ to a land which he had only known from family stories, as the reality of the region replaced the country he had imagined"

Hrair Sarkissian website adds: "The In Between (2006) series grew out of an inconsistency in Sarkissian’s own identity (born in Syria with Armenian origins) that came to the fore after he visited Armenia several times. The reality of Armenia struggling to survive and recovering from the remains of the Soviet system did not match the image of a self-assured and proud ‘Mother Armenia’ the diaspora Armenians grew up with."

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