LOS ANGELES — On Saturday April 25th, Los Angeles County Mayor Michael Antonovich unveiled a month-long interactive public art display at Grand Park to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide through public art.
Conceived by artists Ara Oshagan, Levon Parian and architect Vahagn Thomasian, “iwitness” incorporates photography and architecture to educate and inform a new generation about the Genocide. The display consists of massive portraits of eyewitness survivors telling the story from the frontlines — people who were there — most of whom are Southern California residents who immigrated here to reestablish their lives.
“This remarkable memorial honors the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide and tells the personal stories of survivors — first-hand eyewitnesses to one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century,” said LA County Mayor Antonovich.
“iwitness is a temporary monument to the men and women who rebuilt their disrupted lives and communities in the aftermath of genocide,” said artist Ara Oshagan. “The proximity and clustering of the sculptures alludes to, and reflects, the new communities they created after being dispersed across the globe.”
The installation offers a continually shifting perspective during the day, as shadows cast by sunlight create a dynamic interplay between the asymmetrical lines, shapes and forms of the sculptures. At night, a different atmosphere and environment is created as each sculpture in the network is illuminated from the inside.
To educate and promote discourse, audiences at iwitness walk amid these larger-than-life sculptures to reflect on its message and the Turkish government’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.
For the next 30 days, school children and other visitors to this remarkable memorial will hear the personal stories of the survivors.