Homesick – Hrair Sarkissian

Opening reception: Thursday 6 July from 18:00 to 21:00
Dates: 7 July, 2017 to 2 October, 2017
Location: Sursock Museum

Hrair Sarkissian’s work is often based on his personal relationships to geographies and people. Frequently produced with a large format camera, his carefully crafted photographs enable a deeper engagement with a scene, allowing a slow unfolding of revelatory details, conjuring up elided histories and forgotten places. His work is concerned with minor histories and everyday stories that too often disappear without celebration or remorse.

This exhibition marks his engagement with the moving image, created with the same studied craft as his large-scale photographs. The two related video installations, Homesick (2014) and Horizon (2016), speak of journeys taken in response to the war in Syria.

In Homesick, once again turning the lens on himself, the artist is shown destroying his childhood home in Damascus, where his parents continue to reside. A carefully crafted detailed replica of the building, made of concrete and metal, slowly crumbles as the artist repeatedly strikes an off-screen object, only pausing when out of breath or to move aside some rubble.

Click here for more information.

About the artist

Hrair Sarkissian earned his foundational training at his father’s photographic studio in Damascus. He attended the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, France, and in 2010 completed a BFA in Photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Sarkissian’s work revolves around personal and collective memory and identity. His photographs of urban environments and landscape employ traditional documentary techniques to re-evaluate larger historical, political, or social narratives. His work has recently been exhibited at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Newcastle, UK); Kulturcentrum Ronneby (Sweden); 10th Bamako Encounters (Mali); KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin, Germany); the Golden Lion-winning Armenian pavilion at the Venice Biennale; Museum Folkwang (Essen, Germany); Mosaic Rooms (London, UK); Tate Modern (London, UK); The New Museum (New York, USA); and Darat al Funun (Amman Jordan).