Farrah Karapetian (American, born 1978)

Farrah Karapetian addresses and refracts the notion of the historical collectible in a series of works titled Souvenir. In her broader body of work, she is “driven by minor personal narratives that question, inform, and destabilize hegemonic patterns of history.” In conjunction with the Los Angeles-based Wende Museum’s commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, Karapetian seeks to expand the archives and collectible nature of the Wall, tracing actual remnants of the Wall on acetate and plexiglass to make chromogenic prints of the pieces.

Farrah Karapetian Souvenir #1, 2009 Wende Museum
Farrah Karapetian
Souvenir #1, 2009
Wende Museum

She imbues her prints with colors that match hues found on the original graffitied concrete pieces, and she hand-cuts the prints to provoke dimensionality. When displayed as artworks, the souvenirs float between a glass frame and a plain background. Whether these prints function as indexical etchings of a historical surface or simply as fabricated objects, Karapetian puts forth an ambivalent form of monumentality to recall the evolving, subjective legacy of the Berlin Wall.

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