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Art and Memory: Looking Back and Moving Forward on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide


Monday, November 9, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Film Center at NYU, Theater 101 (36 E. 8th Street)

Art critic and Hyperallergic editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian moderates a conversation about art making, identity, and memory with visual artist Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, photographer Diana Markosian, and novelist Nancy Kricorian. How do artists respond to the burdens of collective trauma, the responsibilities of a shared, precarious history, and the urgent need to create new forms of expression that both honor the past and free its subjects from being mere victims of it?  

In their respective works and genres, Der Meguerditchian and Kricorian plumb family history to engage with the themes of dispossession, loss and longing inherent to post-genocide Armenian Diaspora experience, while also shaping new perspectives and traditions of belonging. For her ongoing 1915 photo series, Markosian located three centenarian genocide survivors in Armenia and created a powerful photo essay about their connections to their lost homeland on the other side of the border with Turkey.  All three artists powerfully engage documentary reality and the shifting structures of historical and political discourse, while, in different ways, asserting the necessary and transformative power of the imagination and the aesthetic.