KÜNSTLERHAUS

BETHANIEN

Artist

Vartan Avakian

Lebanon

Composition with a Recurring Sound, Copper alloys, radio waves and a river, 26 x 6 x 6 cm, 2016

Dust is soil, pollen and burnt meteorite particles. Dust is also hair, tears, blood, sweat and shed skin cells. Sites of history are heavy with dust. They attract us with the weight of this dust, this debris. Vartan Avakian uses biological debris as the material foundation of his sculptural works. He makes artefacts that propose an understanding of memory as physical traces inscribed in matter – traces waiting to be decoded or recombined and representing new possibilities and challenges for future archaeology. Nat Muller writes that ‘in his work, meaning is to be found in the stutter, the moment of doubt, the uncomfortable interminable pause when words stumble because they cannot be fully articulated, or the image disintegrates because it cannot be properly resolved. It is precisely this slippage between things, the lingering gaps between the on and off button, the confusion between the familiar and the alien, that marks out Avakian’s playground of possibilities.’

STAY
01.09.2017 – 01.09.2018