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My works use material, laser cutting and light to enhance elements by creating dramatic colorful shadows. In 2014, I graduated with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from MassArt.

 

This body of work explores memories of my family’s forced migration to the United States during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Stories of the genocide were not discussed, unless provoked in the family until recently...almost a hundred years later. Video interviews have been my dominant means of documenting memories. I’ve collected papers that managed to survive in order to trace the forced migration. The holes and deterioration seen in the artwork are representative of missing pieces, the unknown portions of the story.

 

Missing or interpreted memories are often intentionally distorted through shadow. The materials I use, leather, wood and acrylic/plexiglass, are fundamental to the narrative in their relation to culture. Leather being natural skin (subhuman, animal) that is singed by the heat of the laser, and the acrylic sheets being mass produced and toxic when heated. These materials reference a transition of memory in culture from East to West. Turkish and Armenian rug design inspire the design seen throughout the work.

 

Each piece is set away from the wall in order for the shadows to cast. The light changes depending on the time or day or source. Even though it changes in time, it is always present and derivative of the original in some way.

© 2020 by Jessica Sperandio