Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Adrienne Der Marderosian

I love the Internet for the connections that it brings. I was thrilled when I received an email from Adrienne Der Marderosian who also had work in the ARC Gallery exhibition Home. In my post about the show and opening, I was not able to get a decent enough photograph of her work and now I get to share them (the first two images were at ARC). She lives in Massachusetts so could not attend the opening. We all know how unpredictable Chicago's winters can be.

 Adrienne shared, "When I saw the call for submissions for the ARC's exhibition Home, I was interested in applying as the curators broadened the traditional definition of  "home" to include homelessness and the refugee crisis. My current body of work investigates how migration to a new homeland affects one's psychological, social and cultural identity so it seemed a good fit." It was also Adrienne's first time entering ARC. I feel like I have met a kindred spirit.  

I am also thrilled that I get to share with you her artist statement for her series. As I shared in my post concerning the exhibition, I wish that there had been an opportunity to read the artist statements because I love learning more about the person's thoughts on her work.  Finding out that Adrienne is Armenian gave me even more insight because I curated and traveled an exhibition of thirteen quilts from Gee's Bend, Alabama, to three different cities in Armenia. While in Yerevan, I visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum which is dedicated to a time in Armenian history (1915-1923) where the Turks tried to exterminate Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. It was estimated that two million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire and one and a half million of them were killed including women and children and the rest were exiled. Images from the museum will stay with me for the rest of my life.  


My memory is
the history of time.

Charles Olson

This series of works, entitled Tattoo Trails II, explores the relationship between memory and identity.  As an artist of Armenian descent, I carry a history that embodies not only my past but that of my ancestors as well.  My families’ stories of survival are not only rich and textured but also complex and traumatic.  Their collective history has led me to consider how exiles that are separated from their homeland navigate their lives.  How does migration affect them psychologically? Do immigrants face feelings of alienation, isolation and displacement? How are their cultural identities impacted by their separation from their homeland?

Throughout my work, I investigate these questions and challenge the viewer to consider the strength and endurance of the human spirit.
This series is based on a video still by Edwin Wurm, 1995/96.
Adrienne Der Marderosian

I you would like to know more, you can read an inspiring interview, here. I love that you also get to see her studio.  Do you agree that learning more about an artist enriches your understanding? 

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