New York, 2023 – Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice is pleased to present Uchronie Fragments, a solo exhibition of photographs by Osheen Harruthoonyan. Harruthoonyan’s thought-provoking photographic creations explore interlocking themes of memory, history, identity and the elusive passage of time. Drawing inspiration from his diverse upbringing in Iran, Greece and Canada, Harruthoonyan's artistic practice is marked by a multifaceted approach that weaves together elements of his cultural heritage and global influences.
The artist’s experimental wet darkroom techniques serve as the physical embodiment of his artistic concepts. Through these techniques, he captures visual imagery while also evoking emotions and narratives that resonate deeply with viewers. The title of the present exhibition speaks to the concept of “alternate histories.” Taken from the Greek word chronos–meaning time–and utopia–meaning a “no place”–Uchronie Fragments reimagines fragments of a time and place that no longer exist. In doing so the artist creates alternate histories, memories and identities that simultaneously exist in past, present and future.
Harruthoonyan deploys a set of proprietary tools and chemistry in order to carefully manipulate the film’s emulsion prior to being printed and toned in a traditional wet darkroom on fiber paper. His use of photographic layering, together with time and chance, imbue his images with a remarkable sense of depth and meaning. The resulting eerie photographs possess an otherworldly quality that invites viewers on a rich introspective journey of their own.
Harruthoonyan's work offers a universal visual language that resonates with audiences worldwide. His exhibitions at institutions such as the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, the Louvre in Paris, as well as features on Vice!, Bravo! Arts, Space Channel, and the CBC's "Exhibitionists" have drawn global attention from art enthusiasts, collectors, and scholars alike.
With the advent of digital photography artists such as Harruthoonyan have turned to different techniques to distinguish themselves and push their artform forward. One thinks of the Starn brothers cutting up their photos and gluing them together again; or alternatively of Alexandra Hedison updating the centuries-old chemigram process that relies entirely on the haphazard vagaries of the development process. Harruthoonyan’s poignant photographs remind us that time, memory and identity shape our understanding of the world around us in intricately interwoven threads. This resonates with recent discoveries in the world of physics going back at least to Einstein that teach us that time is indeed a complex and infinitely rich concept.
The photographs currently on view at Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice are the last available in the Uchronie Fragments series.
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