A Memory and a Tale from Armenia & A Century of the Self 1996

A Memory and A Tale from Armenia, an exhibition at the Northbank Gallery, Highbury (1996) was an installation work, created following an extensive research trip to ‘Soviet’ Armenia (Summer 1996). The audience was invited to bring a pair of old shoes to exchange with plaster casts of anothers’ shoes. The plaster shoes created the form of a mountain somewhat reminiscent of Mount Aarat and the exhibition played with ideas of nation-building, myth making and the telling of tales as one form of resistence.

As the audience replaced the plaster shoes with their shoes the gallery re-created an archive of abandoned shoes, that echoed the exodus from Armenia and other 20C genocide.

Lake Yerevan

Better than a thousand words, than the silken word mongerer of deadlines and schedules, promises without end, are the stolen moments:  a bitter lemon twisted on the tongue, a glass of water cupped from a mountain spring, eagles still as night, dark skies, emptiness and a shepherd’s hooping hoot.

The blades of grass sing. They are the  reeds of memory, brittle and unforgetting. I lift my arm. It holds nothing but air, the salt of liberty and the currency of freedom, running like a golden river from the depths of the lake to the everturning skies above.

Lake Sevan

As oil under the surface of an olive’s skin, the water, as turquoise, as blue and transparent as the eye could imagine, wraps the mountains sides and the frozen air into a gorge of Mediterranean splendour and delight, ample for the setting of some Greek mythology. Where on its banks a girl, youthful as springwater, awaits her lover and attracts by chance blue-bellied songbirds with her dark eyes , reflected within the night sky. Where the memory mingles in a thousand shards, the broken detritus of recent history: a carnage of bottles, cans and shattered plates glistening in their Soviet boredom among concrete piles and sewage pipes.Here on the banks of Lake Sevan memory is hardened by the harsh winter, by icy clear water and the footsteps of forgotten civilizations – hardened in the molten cupriferous crystal of fossil stone and rusting metal.  September 1996

‘A Century of the Self.’ – Performance and Installation at Camberwell College of Art (MA exhibition, 1996).

A work exploring the legacy of modernisms and the progressive ideologies embedded in artistic rhetoric. The artist arrived with a shabby suitcase, then dressed and undressed in a number of garbs and disguises while re-producing images and faces from Western 20C art canon.