These symbols of history, imbued with the weight of culture and authority, are both unique and reproducible. Avakian devises a series of protocols, procedures, and rituals to extract and bring to light their many hidden layers of incidental inscriptions and markings reminiscent of a palimpsest. Not only does he reveal these layers, but in his installations he separates them from their previous form and converts them into new sculptural fossils.
VARTAN AVAKIAN’s work is based on the idea that all data exist in sculptural form and only appear as a ‘fossil’. Consequently, memory too is seen as an activity of excavating and deciphering data from traces and remains. In order to explore practices of cultural production and commemoration, the artist employs different media such as video, installation, sculpture, and photography.