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… A story I never forgot…

008 / 17 December 2014




… A story I never forgot… (2013), is a video installation in which the video, produced in an 'artisanal' manner, doesn't pretend to achieve technical excellence. Instead, it attempts to reorder and organize the fragmented memory of the Armenian genocide (c. 1915 to 1920) based on the stories and narratives I have heard since childhood. Being a Brazilian of Armenian descent from both sides, to forget such stories would mean forgetting one's own being.


The project is indeed a personal one. I started my career at the end of the 1980s, surrounded by episodes of violence and witnessing the social, economical, and political traumas in Brazil. At the time, I did not feel comfortable dealing with the Armenian theme: rather, my urgency was to bring together people numbed by the daily occurrences of these issues. Since then, I've been trying to delicately expand the reflection on violence and exclusion in the social fabric, where everyone ends up victimized.


When invited to take part in the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale, a city where my ancestors found refuge for several years, the remote past became so close to me.


Who remembers the Armenian genocide? I do.


It was necessary to reassemble each fragment of my memory as if working with a puzzle, full of enormous personal cost, to narrate once again the story which was told to me and which I never forgot. History runs through a handkerchief embroidered by my grandmother when she was a refugee in Thessaloniki, with the support of the Armenian General Benevolent, where she was an embroidery teacher. Transformed in each episode, the piece covers the story of her origins, her remembrances, her life in Greece and her eventual departure to Rio de Janeiro, to the handkerchief's return as part of the Thessaloniki Biennale.

About the author

Rosana Palazyan

Rosana Palazyan lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. She attended the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage) and studied Architecture and Urbanism at the Universidade Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro. Palazyan's work in a variety of mediums promoes experiences about art, life and society along with the incorporation of the 'Other' under new ethical, aesthetical and political basis, generating a reflection on the social field of art. Recent solo exhibitions include: Casa França-Brazil, Rio de Janeiro (2010); The Place of Dream, Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil, Sao Paulo (2004); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Rufino Tamayo, City of Mexico (2000). Group exhibitions include: The 4th Thessaloniki Biennale (2013-14); The Shelter and the Terrain, Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro (2013); The Street, Europalia Brazil Festival, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, MHKA, Antwerp, Belgium (2011); and Pretty Tough: Contemporary Storytelling, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT, USA (2009).