Series of 16 archival inkjet prints, 150x190cm each.
istory documents the history sections of various semi-private and public libraries and archives in Istanbul. Sarkissian’s own history is closely tied to these books and files, as his grandparents were forced to flee from Eastern Anatolia to Syria to escape the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Both the nature of these events and the language used to describe them are robustly contested by the Turkish government.
Permitted to work in the rooms housing the archives yet unable to pick up or open any of the material, Sarkissian’s photographs document the shelves of books and files but give no insight into these events. Shot with available light in dimly lit, hard-to-access spaces, these are images of concealment and inaccessibility, inviting the viewer to question accepted historical narratives.