Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kathy Mas-Gallegos and Avenue 50 Studio
presents Annex installation: 

"Requiem for the Forgotten: The Armenian Genocide"
Arpine Shakhbandaryan and Zareh.
With participation from Lydia Emily, Terri Berman, Daisuke Okamoto,  
Douglas Alvarez, Farzad Kohan and LeNic.

October 8 - November 6, 2011

Exhibition Opening: NELA Gallery Night October 8, 2011 7-10pm  
Avenue 50 Studio
Highland Park, CA., 90042 

Mexicans and Central Americans celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, a day of remembrance for dead family members and friends. The Armenian-Greek-Assyrians who perished by Ottoman government ethnic cleansing orders in 1915 are also remembered and celebrated by modern-day Armenians.
Armenian Genocide graves do not exist. Armenians were deported to the desert to rot, which saved the Ottoman government the expense of ammunition and mass grave clean-up. Regardless of the fact that 43 of the 50 U.S. states have made individual proclamations recognizing the events of 1915 to 1923 as genocide and the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs has recognized the massacres of 1915 as 'genocide', The United States Government continues to maintain a multi-billion dollar military base in Turkey and remains 'politically correct' about atrocities committed against humanity.  
Art remembers the past

Scientific analysis of post-traumatic stress disorder and subsequent recovery requires recognizing the trauma, confronting the source, and supporting the grieving process to allow healing to happen. Accordingly, the "Requiem For the Forgotten: The Armenian Genocide" installation consists of three parts. 

Sophia Gasparian's childlike aesthetic juxtaposed with social satire suggest the final process of healing from the denied death trauma. Survival of the "unwanted" and the ability of the oppressed to contribute to the newly adopted culture are signs of social triumph over historic evil. Arpine Shakhbandaryan 's 24K gold leaf and oil "Armenian Genocide Map" addresses the historical events of the 1915 Armenian Genocide while Kaloust Guedel's masterfully executed and emotionally charged work provides the immediate and primal confrontation. Zareh's work suggests a poetic look at death and genocide trauma.

"Requiem For the Forgotten: The Armenian Genocide" includes Gasparian's collaborations with Los Angeles based fellow artists Lydia Emily, Terri Berman, Daisuke Okamoto, Douglas Alvarez, Farzad Kohan and LeNic, addressing Native American Genocide, the current AIDS epidemic, a terrorist feared world and the declaration of Jihad (holy war) on ignorance and institutionalized oppression. Harmonic collaborations amongst these artists, the gallery and the audience are a form of a non-violent discourse.

Founder and Executive Director of Avenue 50 Studio, Kathy Mas-Gallegos' curatorial choices have been courageous, socially oriented and visually pleasing. Through education, cultural exchange and art, solidarity and unity are created within the larger extended community. Avenue 50 Studio serves as a strong force behind these collaborative achievements, crossing Byzantine Latino cultures to remember Los Todos Muertos.

Sophia Gasparian Artist Statement

When your ancestors come from a land of genocide and oppression, you have no choice but to fight for your survival and contribute to securing equal human rights worldwide.

"Requiem for the Forgotten: The Armenian Genocide" includes my contemplations on death and collaborations on the cost of our freedom of speech (with LeNic - "Walrus and Me"), on ignorance (with Farzad Kohan - "Jihad on Ignorance"), on stopping the current wars that bring death and destruction (with Lydia Emily - "Hope Bombs"), on the HIV epidemic (with Terri Berman  -"Pediatric AIDS"), on post 911 identity profiling (with Daisuke Okamoto - "Don't Judge Me By My Government"), and new philosophies on looking at death and spiritual imortality ("Death Is Not The End").

My paintings remember the history, honor the dead and carry on our cultural legacy.

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