Its improvised construction process used the objects found, a handful of common tools (drill, screwdriver, pliers, and tin snips) and sheet metal screws.
It is the unique location-specific answer to the artist’s question “How will a drastic change in locale affect my process?”
This is Armenia’s Archifact because all the objects used to build the form were found in Armenia, a short walk from the artist’s work space. A sampling of identifiable objects used for the sculpture’s materials include: enameled steel and galvanized buckets, Pots, heaters, stoves, a toy car, bicycle fenders, sheet metal construction warning signs, chimney exhaust cap, and fluorescent light fixture.
A more exacting viewer might critically observe that this arch is incomplete, as it has only one side and so is more like a tendril. A second side will be made in Donegal ,Ireland in 2012 as part of the international project titled Samkura.
The Samkura project is hosted in Ireland by the Artist residency program at Cló Visual Art and Media Workshop.
Here is a link: http://www.clo.ie/
During the months of June and July 2012 I will spend a month at Cló where I have proposed the following.
Proposal for Clό Artist Residency: Samkura Arch Sculpture
Within the general context of the Samkura Project and, specifically, its focus on “understanding contemporary art as a language of cross-cultural communication,” I propose to create an outdoor sculpture for display and/or installation at Clό in Ireland, using natural native and discarded synthetic materials, available tools, and an assemblage process.
This sculpture created at Clό will address themes implicit in the Samkura Project and its call for “research, development and dissemination of new art works . . . in a context of a thematic artistic exchange focusing on cultural and linguistic specificity.” The sculpture, as a response to the themes from Samkura, will be informed by my work and experiences during a recent AKOS artist residency in Armenia. It is my intent to create work that is conversant with work I completed in Armenia and to exhibit separately the works created in both places.
I have chosen to work with the arch as the sculpture’s form because it symbolises a connection, bridge, link, and span–all manifestations of the idea central to Samkura: linguistic connection between temporally and geographically distant cultures. The Samkura Project uses the metaphor of a shamrock or samkura to represent the evolved connections of Indo-European languages –leaflets to the stalk and the stalk to the ground on which the language plant grows. Similarly emblematic is the arch, a symbol of our efforts to reach out to one another through an international residency program in which we seek to understand and use contemporary art as cross-cultural communication.
Ինչքան լեզու իմանաս՝ այնքան մարդ էս:
“Inchqan lezoo imanas, aynqan mart es.”
You are as many a person as the languages you know. -Armenian proverb
My personal linguistic and cultural identity, like many Americans, is that of a mutt, linking and bridging linguistic and cultural ethnicities far too complex to list and hidden from me by the passage of time and the loss of parts of my family’s history. I am just as likely part ethnically Armenian as I am certainly part ethnically Irish, when one considers the thousands of generations of humans that have come before us and recognizes the vast amount of information about our past that is irretrievable. This is important to the understanding of our shared humanity.
My native language, English, is a similarly hybridised form in its complexity, heterogeneity, and semi-blindness to its past. It is also similar in that English today is a bridge language or lingua franca. It is often used to make communication possible between people who do not share a mother tongue. Yet even as a hybrid both culturally and linguistically, I and my expression of the English language still hold a specific identity linguistically and culturally. What is that specific linguistic and cultural identity? How is it qualitatively the same as and different from others? How do language and identity influence each other?
On a personal level, this proposed Arch is a self-portrait. I recognise my own linguistic idiom as a blend of many preceding cultures and languages from a diverse genealogy that links a variety of peoples, historical periods, and geographic locations. I realise that by my ongoing interest in international exchange I create a bridge to the world beyond my own national and regional boundaries. I look forward to Clό artist residency to explore these topics and pursue this opportunity to take part in Samkura!
Is fearr Gaeilge briste, na Bearla cliste!