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Hrair Sarkissian: The Other Side of Silence

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  • April 25 at 3pm.
  • The lecture is public, no registration is needed.
  • Venue: The Royal Institute of Art, Decolonizing Architecture Studio, 2rd floor.

In occasion of the exhibition “Hrair Sarkissian: The Other Side of Silence” at the Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm (27 April – 19 June 2022), Hrair will give a talk about is photographic practice characterised by an element of search, as well as the dichotomy of visible/invisible. The search relates to answers about personal memories and history, while the engagement with what is visible and what is not comes as a re-evaluation of larger historical, religious and social narratives. The invisibility versus visibility is evident in Sarkissian’s often deserted landscapes and locations, devoid of human presence yet filled with human existence. Mankind’s intervention is, although invisible, tangible through the buildings undergoing construction or the ruined cityscapes, remnants of conflict. 

A ghostly element is a constant presence that populates these liminal spaces, where time seems to exist in both a specific frame (that of its historical context) and an indefinite, eternal void, such as in ‘Execution Squares’ and ‘Istory’.These abandoned sites represent spaces deprived of time, where the time is stopped and we quest for its existence, since its visibility does not reach perception.

Hrair Sarkissian (Damascus, 1973) earned his foundational training at his father’s photographic studio in Damascus. In 2010 he completed a BFA in Photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. He lives and works between London and The Hague.