Los Angeles, CA
In this a one-of-a-kind exhibition of rare depictions of Armenian life from turn-of-the-20th-century Anatolia history and visual storytelling collide in three-dimensional space where time collapses and imagination takes flight. The selection of original postcards displayed throughout the Ground Level vitrines are organized according to their visual content. Depicting a spectrum of themes, they document town and cityscapes, infrastructure, Armenian neighborhoods, various industries, culture and leisure, religious, educational and benevolent institutions, hospitals, clubs and groups associated with different activities, village life and personal portraits.
In the Treasure Room, two sets of imagery are presented in visual and narrative dialogue. Still life photographs depicting abandoned homes and sites of cultural significance are presented in large format. While two dimensional output, their placement throughout leverages the physical characteristics of the exhibition space, generating an immersive experience. The boxes organized in the center contain visual content drawn from the postcards, reconstructed as three dimensional dioramas. Exhibit goers are encouraged to navigate the curated scenes at two scales, zooming in to study the detailed nuances of daily life captured by the postcard imagery and zooming out to gain a broader perspective offered by the photographs. The experience generated by this unconventional presentation of the two sets of imagery, blurs the distinction between past and present, perception and reality and carves out a space for imagining possibilities of what could have been or never was. These emergent scenes transcend the limits of time and space, conjuring a composite destination suspended between the past and the future – one without a physical destination.
In Collaboration with Norair Chahinian