May 16, 2014 – Jun 28, 2014
The Cultural Cartographies Series begins in the Utah desert with Melik Ohanian’s Welcome to Hanksville (2003).
This film examines the congregation of a group of pseudo-scientists on August 27, 2003, during the cosmological opposition of Mars to the Earth. The desert, reminiscent of the vacant landscape on Mars, is transformed into an unknown territory waiting to be explored. Ohanian’s film is a slow investigation of an actual site and the potential of this place extending into time, space, and imagination.
Born in 1969 in Lyon, France, Melik Ohanian lives and works in Paris and New York. Using a range of media, including video, sound, installation, photography and text, Ohanian explores the implications of the multiple and the common. His practice exemplifies a paradigm shift from temporal narratives to a spatial understanding of the world, allowing for unlikely constellations of individuals, places and events to visibly coalesce within his works around a given point in time. Ohanian has had numerous solo exhibitions including In the Desert of Images, Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, India (2012), Concrete Tears, 3451, Musée National Picasso, Vallauris, France (2012), DAYS, I See what I Saw and what I will See, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, France (2011), and Peripherical Communities, London, Rich Mix, London, U.K. (2011). In addition, his work has been included in many group exhibitions such as Honey I rearranged the collection, Passage de Retz, Paris, France (2013), In spite of it all, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2012), and El Agua de Niebla for FIAC 2011 in Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France.
Focusing on still image or filmmaking as a primary medium, this series explores how varied manifestations of political, environmental, urban, and utopian interventions inform a more contemporary way of thinking about the entanglement of history and geography. Through this form of investigation, Cultural Cartographies reveals how artists negotiate understandings of space and place, using technologies of vision, that shape social and natural environments.
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