Melik Ohanian…

Melik Ohanian’s work explores the notins of territory and space.  Using multimedia such as video, photography, installation and text.  His images usually incorporate several superimposed layers of the real in which he shows ‘other places’ telling of a reality that is already infused by the imaginary.

‘White Wall Traveling’ is a film and a collection of stills.   As part of this series Ohanian shows the now inoperative liverpool docks, which were the scene of great strikes in the late nineties, and now lay empty, a gigantic space void of people in a decaying no mans land-which could be anywhere.

Ohanian also photographs apartment towers or municipal fringe areas yet excludes any depictions of their residents.  By removing the people we are left only to view the effect we have had on the spaces, and this absence seems to make the human presence in this series resonate more strongly.

In ‘Slave to Valse’, Ohanian invites the viewers to produce through his pre-historical computing machine different letters, words and signs on five lightning boards placed into the gallery space, in the process where the viewers acts as a computer.

On the opening day the word ‘Slave’ appears on the boards as a hypothetical starting point and on the final day of the show the word ‘Valse’ operates as a hypothetical ending point. During this time, the space would be the place of countless small modifications performed freely by the visitors.

 The viewers shape the work with their own choices.  The work becomes a digital representation of events that occured during a specific space in time which led to the works new identity.  For this process of recording and displaying a collection of events I find Ohanian’s work quite poignant with regards to my own practice, whereby I am aiming to capture the series of events that occur within the non-place, and consequently define it’s identity.


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April 2008
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