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Ontological Walkscapes

  • Karen Andreassian's documentary work extends beyond the exhibition space. His interdisciplinary research records the political and geological landscapes of Armenia and the social transformation it faces in post-Soviet times. For example, in Voghchaberd Project (2003) Andreassian has created a documentary archive of a village close to Yerevan. This rural area, deeply affected by a landslide, faces an ongoing state of uncertainty. Using a hand-held camera Andreassian records the people within the disappearing landscape, and by placing them in an electronic space gives access to the different geo-anthropological layers of their lives. Ontological Walkscapes (2009) is a project realised by the artist in collaboration with Paris-based writer and independent researcher, Stephen Wright, and five students from the Department of Art History and Theory at Yerevan State University. Andreassian takes on the role of a walker, inspired by political walks that took place along Northern Avenue in Yerevan, following the forceful dispersion of post-election demonstrations in Yerevan's central Azatutyan (Freedom) Square. In Andreassian's political walks, students' personal stories are physically and mentally traced, creating a map of connected places. The project's extensive material -its papers, photographs and documents- are included in a book of the same title.
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