By Lucie Khahoutian
Lucie Khahoutian is an Armenian visual artist. Until recently she used to mainly work through collages but recently started to do photographic projects. Her latest work is about seclusion and dementia, and is very much influenced by Sergei Paradjanov’s imagery and Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.
“At the crossroads of religious rituals and psychotic behaviors, this story narrates a slow but certain plunge into dementia. Going from one step to another in this degradation process, we are witnessing how human dedication impacts on its well-being. Dedication to a cause, to a god, to another human, here what matters the most is the boundaries of our character’s commitment rather than the reasons of his fall. From one step to another we are led into this one-way chaotic journey, wavering between isolation, abandonment, blindness and oblivion. The timid human figure is fading, becoming the shadow of its former self, taking on the appearance of a ghost, maybe. Dehumanized, our character seems doomed to roam in a setting frozen in time. If eyes are the window to the soul, they are here often -if not always- missing, hidden under blinders, ornaments, veils, or are on the contrary omnipresent, in the form of artifacts. As if our oblivious subject was literally loosing sight as he was drifting and its fading discernement was suddenly materialized. Here we stage a wedding, a marriage, the utmost human alliance in the eyes of God. The union of soulmates, leads to a spiritual connexion, and twins alike, not to the same person divided into two, but two distinct ones, doomed to be prisoners of a single mind. As if one had to give up on its very own identity in order to reach a sacred union, with its loved one, but mostly, through it, with God. Once simple rituals of communal life become rituals of faith and devotion, and we now belong to someone, to something, apparently greater than us alone. Our protagonists are now shapeless, passive forms fading without a blink, they never really see what is happening. They’ve become the shadows of forgotten ancestors. In this traditional setting, magic is invoked, almost to test the faith and resolve the inexplicable. The isolated duo strangely is weakened instead of fortified and struggles to communicate in the muttering of Babel’s tower. We are helplessly witnessing the fall of individuality and the insanity emerged from seclusion. In the most absolute harmony we could not hide from solitude.
Could we then be alone together?”