fig. a, a comme alphabet
20.09.2019 - 19.10.2019
intervention on the first floor by Mekhitar Garabedian - courtesy of Baronian Xippas
pictures by Ligia Poplawska
Mekhitar Garabedian | fig. a, a comme alphabet
2009 – 2019, ongoing series, pencil, pen, marker on paper, dimensions variable
This series of works is based on exercises made while learning the Armenian alphabet. The repeated letters form patterns which, while recognisable as signs, remain incomprehensible to non-Armenians. This documentation of a learning-moment relates to the loss of the mother tongue experienced through migration in general, and specifically by the Armenians living in the diaspora. Exile reduces the old language to a corpse. At the same time Garabedian is exploring the relation between signifiers and signified, comprehension and incomprehension.
Mekhitar Garabedian was born in Syria and is currently living in Belgium whilst his origin is Armenian. Within his oeuvre he interrogates processes of subject formation and the place of the individual in a contemporary world shaped by migration and diaspora. Deploying very diverse media he examines how the ruptures caused by migration continue to determine the present in a ‘hauntological’ way and how, linked to this, the linguistic realm structures our subjectivity and position in the world. In his researches, Garabedian questions the conceptual possibilities and potency of the work of art. Just as his personal diasporic history is layered, his work echoes with a multiplicity of references to literature, music, philosophy and visual arts.