GLENDALE — The highly anticipated and reimagined Downtown Central Library has announced the reopening of its doors with two new art spaces. These spaces represent the two building blocks of Landscape of Memory: Witnesses and Remnants of Genocide, which unfolds in two distinct but interconnected parts and reflects on the Armenian Genocide through the cross-disciplinary work of witnesses, survivors, and artists, across four generations.
The first of these interconnected parts is the Central Library’s ReflectSpace, a new exhibition space designed to explore and reflect on major human atrocities, genocides, and civil rights violations. Immersive in conception, ReflectSpace is a hybrid space that is both experiential and informative, employing art, technology and interactive media to reflect on the past and present of Glendale’s communal fabric and interrogate current-day global human rights issues.
The space’s first ever exhibit, titled witness (in) humanity, examines the relationship of official history to survivor testimony and its generational aftermath. Leslie A. Davis, the US Consul in the Ottoman Empire during the genocide, a contemporary photographers’ portrait and oral history of Hayastan Maghakhian-Terzian, and New York-based artist Aram Jibilian’s “Gorky and the Glass House”, each piece laying a deeper foundation for examining the space survivors occupy and their relation to the atrocities of the past.
Just outside ReflectSpace, within a few yards of the library’s south entrance at Glendale Central Park, will be the second part of Landscape of Memory: Witnesses and Remnants of Genocide, the highly popular iWitness public art installation. The iWitness installation is a temporary large-scale artistic disruption of public space and consists of an interconnected network of towering asymmetrical photographic sculptures wrapped with massive portraits of eyewitness survivors of the Genocide. The sculptures have no right angles and their irregular angular shapes speak to an unbalanced world, continually at risk of war, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. Each sculpture ranges in height from eight to twelve feet. Conceived and constructed by artists Ara Oshagan and Levon Parian, and architect Vahagn Thomasian, iWitness will be the first ever large-scale public art installation in Glendale. Design concept is by Narineh Mirzaeian.
Landscape of Memory: Witnesses and Remnants of Genocide is an immersion in an internal conversation taking shape at the very onset of the Genocide and stretching over four generations. The diplomat/documentarian, eyewitness survivors, and contemporary artists are all intricately linked in a network of imagery, image-making and testimony. Landscape of Memory is curated by Ara and Anahid Oshagan.
This moving exhibition will open to the public when the downtown Central Library reopens on May 1 and run through June 25. The iWitness public art installation at Glendale Central Park will run from April 27 through June 14. The opening reception for Landscape of Memory is slated for Friday May 5, 7-9 pm.
For more information about each of these events, visit www.GlendaleLAC.org or call (818) 548-2030.