Foyer's main house
auf Mnemosynes Wohl!
An exhibition curated by Silvina Der-Meguerditchian
The central piece in the exhibition is the eponymous installation Auf Mnemosynes wohl! (To Mnemosyne's Health!) in the foyer of the Gorki. A mnemothek that gathers together differentmaterials: videos, books, photographs and sculptures by Archi Galentz (Moscow/Berlin), Sophia Gasparian ( Yerevan LA), Gariné Torrosian (Canada), Achot Achot (Yerevan/ Paris), Jean Marie Casbarian (USA), Karine Matsakian (Yerevan), Maria Bedoian (Buenos Aires), Mikayel Ohanjanian (Yerevan/Florence) and Silvina Der-Meguerditchian (Buenos Aires/Berlin). The work of artist Archi Galentz is represented by two larger pieces. In Cut out walls, he addresses aspects of belonging and escape using fragments of walls from different times and places. In the series Not Red Banners, he uses layers of fabric to build images of a vibrant colour that correspond to the red of the Armenian flag. In cooperation with the Houshamadyan association, Silvina Der-Meguerditchian developed the Armenische Musikbox (Armenian Jukebox) with a collection of songs from Armenians. This collection of music and the concluding installation Objekte, die Geschichten erzählen (Objects that tell stories) try to reconstruct everyday life and artistically fill the gaps in Armenian collective memory through art.
video installation by Atom Egoyan
Aurora Mardiganian was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. She arrived in the United States in the hopes of tracing her surviving brother. She was met at Ellis Island by a New York-Armenian couple, who took her in and placed advertisements in newspapers in an effort to locate her missing sibling. Her story came to the attention of Harvey Gates, a filmmaker in Hollywood who was quick to recognizethe commercial potential of her story, In 1918, a film was made of her experiences, with Mardiganian herself playing a large role. The film was released under the title, Auction of Souls in 1919, and catapulted Aurora Mardiganian into unexpected and unwanted stardom, but she was having great difficulty meeting social responsibilities forced upon her by public appearances to promote the film. Aurora threatened suicide and deserted the promotional tour. As a result, seven Aurora look-alikes were hired to appear with the film during its national distribution campaign. The seven »Auroras« in Egoyan's installation are speaking text from a published account of Aurora's experiences published as Ravished Armenia. Though the film of Aurora Mardiganian's story hasmbeen lost (save one twenty-two minute reel), this installation is an attempt to bring Aurora's spirit back to the big screen.
video installation by Ezgi Kılınçaslan
Since 2008 Ezgi Kilincaslan has been working on her Project „Discrepancies - Oral History and the Official Historiography of the Armenian Genocide“ She has conducted more than 24 interviews in Tripoli, Beirut und Paris with individuals or family members, friends or colleagues, from different generations, and ask their personal opinion about history in the light of the Armenian Genocide. She shows a selection of these interviews in a video installation in Studio Foyer, a strong oral tradition about the genocide from the perspective of survivors / families.