Solo Exhibit of works by Karen Khachaturov
December 15, 2019 – January 15, 2020
ROOMZ Yerevan, 38 Pushkin Street
Curated by IN SITU art agency
Gari Khachaturov is the artist’s grandfather and the hero of this visual story. The series captures the last three months of his life, starting from the moment he is diagnosed with cancer.
As a photographer who tries to “document” the moment, Karén struggles between transmitting an objective reality and telling a different kind of truth, one that reflects an emotionally charged and intimate experience. Karén bears witness to his grandfather’s daily struggles – loss of sight, loss of appetite, and feelings of solitude – but also to moments of joy and playfulness in the wake of absurdity.
The series is self-aware. Karén embraces his subjectivity, constructing a highly curated, pop-surrealist reality that borders on the theatrical. As subjective as Karén’s lens is, so too is his grandfather’s participation – standing proudly in an astronaut’s uniform, or fully nude atop a table – Gari is the star and co-author of this performance. Together, Grandfather and Grandson, make light of an absurd situation whose end is decided and inevitable. Not able to control the outcome, but able to manipulate their experience and emotions around it – Pastel Struggle is a rebellion not against the disease, but rather against what is socially acceptable.
Text by Anna K. Gargarian & Hasmik Badoyan
inspired by text by Ella Kanegarian
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Karén Khachaturov’s photography uses surrealist language to create highly curated scenes that border on the theatrical. Their prosaic quality narrate a story – some more intelligible than others – that brings us into Karén’s absurd, yet intoxicating world.
Karén emerged on the scene as a photographer and creative director in 2014, and has since exhibited internationally in galleries across Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Beijing, Shenzhen, Toronto, Sydney, and at the New York ICP Museum. In Armenia, Karén has exhibited at the Naregatsi Art Institute, the Mirzoyan Library, the ACCEA (NPAK), and HAY Art. Karén’s works were featured on the cover of VintEDGE magazine, and can be found online at Photo Vogue Italia.
Karén Khachaturov is represented in Armenia by IN SITU art agency.
ABOUT IN SITU
IN SITU art agency works to help build artist careers, encourage international exchange, and contextualize Armenian art within global discourse. We mobilize a network of art professionals, know-how, venues, and institutions to seed the creative economy in Armenia. Functioning as a constellation of spaces, HAYP/IN SITU innovates the traditional gallery model through a flexible structure. Through Exhibition, Education, Commissions & Consultancy, we provide a platform for artists on the margins to explore, expand and connect to global leaders and markets.
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Anna K. Gargarian
On December 15 at ROOMZ Yerevan, an opening event featuring an electro-acoustic performance by Arash Azadi inaugurated the exhibition. “Legitimation Crisis” was performed and written by Arash for 3 granular synthesizers and 2 sample players, he describes the work as such:
“A sonic exploration of the space between the known and the unknown. Simple acoustic recordings become a source for synthesizing abstract sounds. The quest for legitimizing the new (unknown) through the authority of the known is shown through the contrast between conventional and unconventional sound patterns, between “alien” and human sounds.”