This exhibition presents a series of mixed media works on paper and video projections inspired by the 2014 Eva Harut’s book “Eine Woche im Teppich” or “One Week in the Rug”. These works, a collaborative effort between Mariana Smith and Evan Harut, describe stories of Ripsime—young Armenian woman from 1915Erzurum and present how her tragedy echoesthe stories of somany families during the Armenian Genocide: their survival and escape from the persecutions in Turkey, their ordeals on the long road to safety, their loss, grief and mourning, their fleeting hope and joys of reunions.
The works reflect the storywhere the road, the horizon line, becomes the symbolic connectionwoven by women of Armenia for the future generations, the strength of the people who preserved the rich heritageand their cultural identity through this monumental tragedy.
This collaboration will continue to develop as projected 2017 Artist residency at the “Women’s Studio Workshop” in Rosendale, NY. Additionally this project is a part of book fair КРЯК (Russian Federation). The first press release for the Eva Harut book will be sponsored by the “Armenian Academic Society in Germany”.
Artists, capitalizing on the fine art and creative writing background in Eva Harut research practice and Mariana Smith experience with fine art printmaking and video work, will re-interpret this exhibition as a limited edition multimedia artist’s book.
To effectively reflect the story of Ripsime Betnezyan in "Eine Woche im Teppich”, and to open the page to the understanding of the events of that period in Armenian history, this artist’s book will expand the traditional hardcover format to the fully interactive experience. This is why the greatlife performance by Any Guévorkian—young talented dancer form the “Sofi Devoyan Theater,” further emphasizes the multimedia aspect of this exhibition.
The story told by the descendents of Ripsime reflects the period of cultural Armenian Renaissance, the strength of its people. When through the overcoming such tragedy, people cultivate their collective strength and maintain their cultural identity, when they do not view themselves as mere victims, but as a symbolic embodiment of the will to move forward into the future, this is when the true strength of Armenian people is fully manifested.
This topic must be important to any member of our increasingly globalized world. To quote the Hayk Demoyan—Director of Armenian Genocide Museum & Institute: “in order to prevent further genocides in the world, our responsibility in action is crucial for furthering understanding as well as condemnation of what happened to the Armenian people in the beginning of the 20th century”.
Films of Project