Hrair Sarkissian

Hrair Sarkissian, Final Flight, 2018-19 © the artist. Courtesy the artist. Photo: © Oak Taylor Smith

Hrair Sarkissian, Final Flight, 2018-19 © the artist. Courtesy the artist. Photo: © Oak Taylor Smith

Hrair Sarkissian, Final Flight, 2018-19 © the artist. Courtesy the artist. Photo: © Oak Taylor Smith

For Hrair Sarkissian, photography is a way of seeing, and telling. Born and raised in Syria and of Armenian descent, he uses the camera to relay stories related to his personal memories and background. Though his photographs rarely contain people they are full of unseen presences. His subjects include issues such as the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23, the ongoing war in Syria, and the plight of disappeared people and their families all over the world. Sarkissian’s most recent work involves seeing without looking. Nothing is visible in Deathscape (2021), his first sound work, which documents the noise of forensic archaeologists excavating mass graves in Spain, the legacy of the civil war and its aftermath.

 

Hrair Sarkissian‌ ‌(born‌ ‌1973,‌ ‌Damascus,‌ ‌Syria)‌ ‌lives‌ ‌and‌ ‌works‌ ‌in‌ ‌London‌.‌ Sarkissian‌ studied at‌ ‌the‌ ‌Gerrit‌ ‌Rietveld‌ ‌Academie,‌ ‌Amsterdam, Netherlands.‌

Hrair Sarkissian, Gert, Zwembad, 10/02/2015, 14:30:00, Last Scene, 2016 © the artist. Courtesy the artist

I don’t do it on purpose, but somehow it is the journey I went through that’s in my work. The visibility of the invisible becomes something physical. I try to engage the viewer in looking at what lies behind the image. The silence.

– Hrair Sarkissian

Hrair Sarkissian, Marcel, Rijksmuseum Van Oudheden, 13/02/2015, 13:00:00, Last Scene, 2016 © the artist. Courtesy the artist

Hrair Sarkissian, Marcel, Rijksmuseum Van Oudheden, 13/02/2015, 13:00:00, Last Scene, 2016 © the artist. Courtesy the artist

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Hrair Sarkissian, Deathscape (research image), 2021 © the artist. Courtesy the artist