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Exhibition at the Davis Museum focuses on the uncertainty of refugee journeys
Horizon, 2016. Two channel video, HD, 6min 58sec. Courtesy the artist and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens - Thessaloniki.

WELLESLEY, MASS.- The Davis Museum at Wellesley College is present, Hrair Sarkissian: Horizon, a two-channel video installation that charts one of the shortest and most common refugee routes from Kaş on the southwestern Turkish shore, across the Mycale Strait, to the island of Megisti on the edge of southeastern Greece. The exhibition, which opened on September 19, and runs through December 17, 2017, is on view in the Joan Levine Freedman ’57 and Richard I. Freedman Gallery.

“Sarkissian’s installation powerfully evokes the uncertainty of the refugee experience across a perilous route,” said Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director of the Davis Museum and curator of the exhibition. “It is a great honor to present Sarkissian’s beautiful and moving piece, and to introduce the artist’s work for the first time in New England. It also demonstrates the Davis Museum’s ongoing commitment to providing a platform for artists who address today’s most pressing and complex political concerns.”

Sarkissian writes of this journey “into the unknown” as marked by extreme uncertainty wherein “there is just one line to hold on to: the horizon. A line that divides the blues of the water and the sky, the up and the down. It visualizes how close the future is, a starting point for building up hopes and dreams, a refuge for escaping the darkness of the present, while holding on to the memories of the past.”

Hrair Sarkissian’s Horizon (2016), was filmed from the sky by a drone, over an area of 1.2 kilometers. The two-channel video installation is six minutes and 58 seconds in length.

Hrair Sarkissian (b. 1973) was raised in Damascus, Syria and trained in his father’s photographic studio. He is best known for dramatically staged photographic series that imply political and social conditions through situations that highlight absence. Sarkissian attended the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, France (2003-2004), completed a BFA in Photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam in 2010, and has lived and worked in London since 2011.

Sarkissian is the 2012 winner of The Abraaj Group Prize, Dubai. Since 2005, his work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions around the world. His work is held in many private and institutional collections, including that of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and the Tate Modern, London.

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