His other work on display, the two-screen video installation Homesick (2014), features Sarkissian and the destruction of a replica of his family home in Damascus. Two screens hang on opposite sides of the room, and when placing your back to one screen and watching the other, the effects of fear and awe come to life. For whilst watching the house being destroyed, you can hear the sound of destruction coming from the other screen, and questions of who or what is doing it come to mind. Whilst watching the video of Sarkissian hammering, one wonders what he is destroying, sensing something bad is happening but not knowing what. Only when one turns to see the other screen do you know what is occurring.
A family home, representing a space of memories, and an artwork reflecting and questioning destruction and loss coinciding with the current political climate.
In discussion with Shoair Mavlian, the artist voiced that the idea of destruction was due to his fear of his home disappearing.
That conversion between Mavlian and Sarkissian also highlighted the artist’s work on photographing photo studios throughout the Middle East, and on the key role Armenians had in bringing photography throughout the Ottoman Empire. The disappearance of these studios and the surreal aspect of having, for example the backdrop of a photo of the Alps and skiing in a studio in Damascus were addressed.
A disappearing feature in today’s instant world, but perhaps a little studio magic should be maintained?