ARMENOUI KASPARIAN SARAIDARI

Chrepsime Agazaryan (1906-1983) Housewife, born in the Adana Province of the Ottoman Empire.
Just after her marriage to Avedis, due to the forced flee she escaped and left him back to fight. The two of them met in Greece after 1922 and created a family.

Sarkis Kasparyan (1912-1970) Painter, born in Eskisehir, Anatolia. 
In 1917 while escaping the massacres, he got lost in Istanbul. After 8years he was reunited with his family in Greece. He worked as a billboard maker and got married to Armenoui Agazaryan.

Zadik Marderosyan (1893-1975) Gunsmith, born in Izmir, Asia Minor.
Lining in an Armenian neighbourhood they became godparents of their neighbour Sarkis' daughters.One was named after Digranoui’s sister that got lost during the destruction of Izmir, in 1912.

Honik Chatzeryan (1893-1969) Goldsmith, born in Selanik, Central Macedonia.
Part of a wealthy family that left Istanbul before the Hamidian Massacres. He was specialised in the attachment of diamonds to gold and got married to Sarkis' sister, Brilliant. 

Avedis Agazaryan (1889-1965) Barber, born in the Adana Province, Ottoman Empire.
He fought for the creation of the independent Armenian state. In 1918 was forced to flee to Damascus and move to Greece to meet his wife Chrepsime and start working as barber.

The project title is a phrase found stamped on the early proofs of identity given to the Armenians when entering Greece in the 1920's. Each photograph is a set of one's belongings that, as the title proves, is significant to his or her profession. The expanded white area, the portrait format as well as the titles of the images echo biographical data and identity documents. Arranged in one piece these objects symbolise a person in his absence. These still lifes restore the loss of individuality resulted by the deportations and are an attempt to portray not only my ancestors but also a whole generation of the Armenian minority in the Ottoman Empire. If the experience of exile constitute of whom those people were, these portraits manifest exile from a present scope.​​


Editioned Prints available through MADE IN ARTS LONDON