Hrair Sarkissian

Hrair Sarkissian (born 1973 in Damascus, Syria, lives and works in London) is a photographer. He earned his foundational training at his father's photographic studio in Damascus, where he spent all his childhood vacations and where he worked full-time for twelve years after high school. In 2010 he completed a BFA in Photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.
"I use photography as a way to tell stories that are not immediately visible on the surface. Employing traditional documentary techniques and using a 4×5 analogue camera, my photographic series consist of austere, large-scale images. The constancy and beauty of the settings, however, are at odds with the socio-historical realities that they conceal. Photography is my tool to search for answers related to my personal memories and background, and I use this subjectivity as a way to navigate larger stories that official histories are unable or unwilling to tell. I try to engage the viewer into a more profound reading of what lies behind the surface of the image, thereby re-evaluating larger historical or social narratives. Once people become aware of the invisible elements behind my work, the physicality of the image is almost destroyed. The architecture and surroundings of the execution squares are no more than a backdrop when you see the bodies hanging in your mind; the faces upon which the zebiba is imprinted are no longer individuals; the still darkness of the libraries becomes loaded once you realize what historical complexities these archives cover."

(external link :
Hrair Sarkissian - The Other Side of Silence
English edition
Lenz Press
The first monograph of London-based Syrian-Armenian artist Hrair Sarkissian—one of the leading figures working with photography globally today.

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