Artists: Ara Oshagan, Levon Parian, and Vahagn Thomasian
Design Concept: Narineh Mirzaian
iwitness is a large-scale temporary site-specific public art intervention made up of an inter-connected network of photographic sculptures installed at the Music Center and Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles in 2015 then in Glendale in 2017. The asymmetrical sculptures are wrapped with massive portraits of eyewitness survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Audiences are invited to walk amid, through and beside these towering and larger-than-life sculptures that seem solid but their irregular angular shapes speak to an unbalanced world, continually at risk of war, ethnic cleansing and genocide. At night, each sculpture in the network is illuminated from the inside, like a lantern. It is an experiential intervention creating a haunting space where these witnesses to the worst crimes of humanity dwell among us. It enables viewers to themselves become second, third and fourth generation witnesses to the Genocide.
The installation is a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015. It engages audiences to contemplate all genocides and mass atrocities and enable discourse to address historical and present day issues of human rights abuses, unpunished crimes and the consequences of denial.
iwitness draws its material from the photographs and interviews of the Genocide Project—a project started by photographers Ara Oshagan and Levon Parian and activist Garen Yegparian in the mid 1990s to document the last remaining Armenian Genocide survivors. The archive contains over eighty portraits and full-length audio interviews with survivors from Los Angeles and Detroit.
Metal, fabric, solar cell, battery
Downtown Los Angeles