Pop down to The Mosaic Rooms by the 25 March and you will be able to see the latest video work by 2013 Abraaj Group Art Prize winning artist Hrair Sarkissian.
This new two-channel video installation, entitled Homesick (2014), depicts the destruction of an architecturally precise 1:30 scaled replica of the artist’s parents’ home in Damascus.
On one screen an eleven-minute long time-lapsed silent video presents the demolition of the model. The source of its destruction is not shown, the building seems to slowly collapse without cause. Alongside this, a second eight-minute long video shows Sarkissian wielding a sledgehammer. The lens focuses on the artist’s face and torso, the target of his blows is not presented.
Far more than just a house, this replica building represents a container for Sarkissian’s memories, and a place for his family’s collective identity. Through Homesick Sarkissian constructs a story that, in the current situation in Syria, could very well take place. He contemplates consequences. What does it mean to expect the worst? Can we fast-forward the present, acknowledge loss and begin reshaping a collapsed history, even before the event?
“An incredibly resonant and haunting work, this is a deeply personal projection of an individual’s fear of both the threat of the present and a potential past and their persistent attempts to destroy it. In witnessing this intimate process the viewer engages and participates in this emotive act of simultaneously envisioning and deconstructing. It is a work that will remain with you.” Rachael Jarvis, Director, The Mosaic Rooms