Hrair Sarkissian with Dr. Omar Kholeif
If I look to these specific works and see what’s happening, I think it relates easily to the United States because there is contentious politics, war, different kinds of public executions, and tragedies caused by natural disasters. We share history, and we share problems as well. And we are all human in the end. Hrair Sarkissian, “Making History: Hrair Sarkissian and Omar Kholeif in Conversation,” for FOCUS: Hrair Sarkissian
Hrair Sarkissian: Syria, Belonging Not Longing
Syrian artist Hrair Sarkissian discusses his art in conjunction with his first major solo exhibition in the United States, FOCUS: Hrair Sarkissian. His work explores the hidden tensions that engulf humanity in an era of global crisis, addressing memory, trauma, and landscape and the complexities of capturing these through photography, especially analog photography in a digital age. The artist is joined by exhibition curator Dr. Omar Kholeif for a Q&A following the presentation.
Hrair Sarkissian, born in Damascus and currently living in London and The Hague, earned a BFA in photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, in 2010. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions around the world, including at the Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Massachusetts; Sursock Museum, Beirut; KADIST, San Francisco; Fondazione Carispezia, La Spezia, Italy; SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul; and the Museum of Photography Thessaloniki, Greece. He has been in group shows at Tate Modern, London; New Museum, New York; Darat Al Funun, Amman; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Sharjah Biennial; Istanbul Biennial; and Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane; among others. Sarkissian won the Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2013.
Dr. Omar Kholeif, FRSA, is a writer and curator who has organized more than 100 exhibitions, special projects, and commissions globally. He is currently Director of Collections and Senior Curator at the Sharjah Art Foundation.
A video recording of this lecture will be available on the Modern's Youtube.