S.M.A.K. Opens Mekhitar Garabedian without even leaving, we are already no longer there

S.M.A.K. presents Mekhitar Garabedian without even leaving, we are already no longer there, on view 2 December 2011–26 February 2012.

Mekhitar Garabedian, “Without even leaving, we are already no longer there” (video still), 2010–2011. Courtesy of the artist and hoet bekaert gallery © 2011 Mekhitar Garabedian

S.M.A.K. presents the first museum solo exhibition of the Syrian born and Belgian based Mekhitar Garabedian (1977, Aleppo). The exhibition consists of various works from the last five years, several new productions and a first look at Garabedian’s ‘library’. In his work, Garabedian interrogates processes of subject formation and the place of the individual in a contemporary world shaped by migration. He investigates the ruptures caused by migration across a wide array of media, tracing a hauntology of its effects in the present and, in a related vein, how the linguistic realm structures our psyche and position in the world. In his researches, Garabedian also contemplates the conceptual possibilities and continued potency of the work of art. His personal diasporic history is as layered as the intricately loomed discourse he presents, echoing with a multiplicity of references.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication ‘Mekhitar Garabedian. Something About Today’, with articles by Marie-Aude Baronian, Jorge Luis Borges, Svetlana Boym, Thomas Caron, Mekhitar Garabedian and Philippe Van Cauteren.
ISBN 9789075679427

“Although it is sometimes small and at other times monumental, sometimes minimal and sometimes sophisticated, sometimes delicate and sometimes rough, at times hermetic and other times frontal, in its diversity the artwork of Mekhitar Garabedian presents a striking and unforgettable consistency. In each work he seeks to convey the idea that most artistic operations (and their contents) can only be acts of memory. Looking closely at his entire corpus, one sees that Garabedian’s multifaceted works offer a ‘repertoire’ of what memory might consist of: images, words, sounds, experiences, and memory itself—the past, history. Rather than being just an interpretative textual reading, the question of memory lies in every aspect and element of what the artist has created and produced so far. The artworks—not only the objects but also their contexts and conditions of exhibition—provide an ongoing space for reflecting on what memory entails. By challenging artistic forms and presentations, the artist, in a highly self-reflexive manner, interrogates his own memory, the (tragic) memory of his people, and also the memory of the arts. Therefore, he often places himself—a Belgian artist of Armenian origin—at the centre of his pieces, or he evokes episodes of his own life—of his own memories.”
(excerpt from ‘The Library of Memory. On Usage and Passage’ by Marie-Aude Baronian)

Museum of Contemporary Art
Citadelpark, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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