Hrair Sarkissian
Antrepo No.3

Born in 1973, Damascus. Lives in Amsterdam.

Hrair Sarkissian's photographs use traditional documentary techniques but at the same time they take a critical position towards the possibilities and borders of the photographic medium. What we see might be tainted, for example, prayer marks on the foreheads of Egyptian men (Zebiba, 2007), snowy buildings and military armaments in Armenia (In Between, 2007), imposing buildings under construction (Unfinished, 2007) or a calm, depopulated landscape, which turns out to be a former war zone (Frozen Status, 2008). Each series of photographs hides a body of cultural and historical notes that form a new image of the already seen.
The photographic series Execution Squares (2008) consists of images of squares in three Syrian cities -Aleppo, Lattakia and Damascus; central spaces where the capital punishment of civil criminals is publicly undertaken. The full impact of this information collides with the harmless appearance of these civic places. Only the absence of people hints at the fact that the streets that people use, and the places they gather, are highly symbolic spaces where a society's pathology can be shockingly evident.