Untitled, 16mm, digitalised, 4:30 min., 1976
“Rotation around a rock” / during socialism / the passage of days and decades came to resemble one another, that was our life. Monotonous life chases after us and we are chasing after it.” (Hamlet Hovsepian)
This untitled video shows Hovsepian walking in circles around a gigantic piece of rock. His movement seems without purpose. Several minutes pass, but nothing happens and nothing changes: there is just his almost meditative pacing around the rock. Does its perpetual circulation form a border? Does it become a border itself? And what does this massive rock that it circumnavigates actually stand for? For Armenia? Or even for the Caucasus? We are doubtless misguided in interpreting things in such a direct (geo) political way. Most of Hovsepian’s films are recordings of simple, ordinary, seemingly meaningless human actions, such as yawning, scratching or thinking. His approach is raw, direct and often humorous. As such, some of the actions verge on the absurd or are presented in an exaggerated way. By focusing on the basic actions of daily life, the artist searches for an estranged identity beyond the sphere of social or political life. The exhibition also includes an exciting dialogue with Taus Makhacheva's superhero alter ego 'Super Taus' who likewise has to deal with a massive boulder.
b.1950 in Ashnak, Armenia
1974 Diploma from Panos Terlemezyan art collage, Yerevan, Armenia. 1970–72 did military service. 1978–1980 lived and worked in Moscow as an artist. Now he lives and works in Ashnak, Armenia. He is married and has three children: son and two daughters. His main exhibitions are: 2012 in New York; 2011 video art in Karlsruhe, Germany; 2010 video art in Antwerpen, Belgium, 2005 solo exhibition “Return” in Yerevan; 1997 “Graphics”, Charlie Khachatorian gallery, Yerevan, Armenia; 1992 solo exhibition in Paris, France; 2011 Christie’s auction in London, England; 2011 video art in the Museum of the City of New York. Participated in three Biennials: 2001 in Venice, 2009 in Istanbul and 2012 in Peking.