A CIRCLE OF BLUEBIRDS
A Circle of Bluebirds re-imagines the history of the artist's family in Armenia and Italy through three different lenses: a telescope, a microscope, and the artist's imagination.
Photographs of the sun, Saturn, and the north star are infused with other-worldly images overlaid onto landscapes as themes of love, happiness and connection absent from the stories of Harruthoonyan's past create visions of a new earth.
On this other earth, bluebirds, an ancient symbol of love and happiness, take the place of distant stars. A young girl swallows a star, and, butterflies weave through constellations and space dust.
The Van Allen belt, a protective field between the realms of astronomy and biology, is the invisible circle holding the artist's vision together. In this belt, the creation, destruction and re-creation of energy is constantly occurring - not unlike the memories of the places where our families are born, and reborn, throughout generations.
While it cannot be seen with the naked eye, when the movement of this energy is translated into auditory waves, it sounds like a circle of birds chirping - proving that it is, perhaps, only our limited mentalities or methods that keep us from experiencing the new worlds awaiting just beyond the stories that defined our past.
SAW THE SPLENDOR
"All around, and reaching out into the deep darkness, he saw himself." So ends the David Lynch poem, "Dark Splendor", that inspired Harruthoonyan's exploration into a new world constructed from a mythical panspermia.
Arrival is marked by new life, as the energy existing throughout the universe is re-distributed by astroids and comets. Transition becomes a sacred space between two worlds, when a dying star releases its iron into the birth process of a cell.
The gene of the Urritopsis Dohrnii (immortal jellyfish) becomes an ever-developing landscape. A hive of butterflies is born. Through telescope and microscope, the artist marries the most majestic and minuscule of the earth's metamorphoses into the birth of new worlds defined by the beauty of change, itself.
Harruthoonyan's creations conjure the lifetimes that exist within moments, and the glimmers of strangeness that give pause to our ever-evolving subconscious states.
In its infancy, an organism is pure and malleable. Maturation inherently means encountering outside influences: environments, shifts, traumas and relationships, all of which leave their mark on what will become a fully grown unique life form.
Morphogenesis focuses on the "moments between moments" along this journey - the anticipation of change, rather than the change itself. Devoid of outside influences or environments, we experience the anticipation of an organism before it begins to take shape.
Armenia holds dichotomies: ancient Christianity with Uratian history; remnants of the Silk Road mixed with contemporary amenities. On his first visit, Harruthoonyan felt dichotomies of his own: the pull of a place that had never been to before, but somehow remembered; the comfort of coming home, with the brutality of genocide. In "Black Garden," he explores the multiplicity of this feeling. Here, clear images of landscapes turn into blurry reflections through the lens of the Claude Glass and then etched and washed away. Afterward, "Mercury," the Greek messenger of the gods rises to carry the souls of the dead to their final resting place. We follow the journey of heritage being carried into a new life, and, finally, the ancient process of re-generation, as earth takes back the matter it has lent to humanity, and churns it, again, into something new for the next generation.
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Fragments of a time and place that no longer exist.
Coincidences, experiments, travels, observations.
Rare, alt process and one of a kind prints