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Alexander and I

Lucie Khahoutian

2016 - 2017

‘Alexander and I’ is a collage series, narrating the tales of my family.

I come from a long line of strong female figure, and have been brought up in a matriarchal society. Blending strong visual codes from the Soviet union and Caucasus I create settings in which women of my family, from several generations, stand in all their glory. Though the work echo the soviet propaganda, here they are not defined by their political convictions but their gender and status as leader of the household. Proudly standing in the manner of leaders and tyrants 's statues, these women are frozen in time, surrounded by soft colors, flower petals, and traditional weaponry.

These weapons stand for their strength and courage as well as their endless battle as women. Cousins, aunts, grandmothers are celebrated, in a playful setting, putting on them -at last- the light they deserve.

If women were in massive number in my family,

two male figure did mark me greatly. And both were named Alexander.

The first was the great Alexander Lobanov,

to which this work is an obvious tribute, the second was my great uncle,

from which I knew barely nothing, besides the fact that he was insane. Traumatized by the Armenian genocide, and alone in exile

in the United States, he began to drawn in dementia and become fascinating. Wars and genocide transformed him into a hoarder and his house was the scenery of this compulsive habit. Habit that seemed to have passed onto me, at least with photos, images, or pretty much any kind of paper documentation.

Wanting to keep a visual trace of everything,

I managed to gather over the years thousands of images.

From this collection the practice of collage came quite naturally to me,

as if I wanted to put these archive at use,

and create a visual puzzle of my history.

Every layer of the collage would then become a period of my life,

a person met, a language spoken, a place visited or a mood I was in.

This collection of portrait, is a celebration of the most important part of my identity, being a caucasian women. 

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