A kaleidoscope of butterflies is born. Bluebirds take the place of distant constellations. A young girl swallows a star. Osheen Harruthoonyan’s anomalies represent the transient nature of time, space and memory he experienced as a young refugee escaping the Iraq war.
Telescope and microscope are the warp and weft of what clearly becomes a story of renewal. Weaving together the familiar and foreign, Harruthoonyan pushes the viewer to question their subconscious states - much the way he was pushed, as a child, to reconsider language and identity.
His willingness to take risks within the confines of the traditional photographic process makes this representational capacity possible. A negative, he insists, should be deconstructed and studied the same way a scientist might dissect a frog to learn the mechanics of its motion through water. He begins with finding what he can take away from an image, noting that the act of removing integral pieces of an image encourages viewers to focus on atmosphere, space and feeling. Afterward, unique combinations of shapes and negative space encourage the brain to shift its usual process of interpreting an image. Finally, replacing defining characteristics of a subject with something unexpected encourages the viewer to reach for new narratives.
The analog process creates a permanency that, in its own way, is a reminder of the fleeting nature of the very journeys they challenge us to reconsider. His pieces, Harruthoonyan comments, will last long beyond the life cycles of their subjects.