From June 18-28 Armenia will present a scenographic installation on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide titled “Red Hail” at the 13th international Prague Quadrennial.
The project is implemented at the initiative of the “Eiva” Arts Foundation with the support of the Armenian Ministry of Culture, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and the Commission Coordinating the Armenian Genocide Centennial Events.
The photographs Armenia presents were taken in 1910 in the town of Mush in western Armenia by the Norwegian missionary worker Bodil Katharine Biørn (also known as Mother Katharine), who was doing humanitarian work there. They depict Armenian day-school children who, according to Biørn’s memoirs, received new Norwegian dolls as gifts. They look at the camera with their happy faces, impatient for the picture to be taken so they can continue playing with the dolls…
These children were among the victims of the Armenian Genocide organized by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
The exposition consists of nets full of toys hanging from the ceiling, resembling hail. The nets are static, except for one that is moving. A video dedicated to the children’s games is projected onto the moving net. Sometimes the toys, which are scattered all around, are set into motion as well, swinging and making noises. The music, which symbolizes the children’s unfinished games, is turned on and off unexpectedly. Visitors will notice certain movements and hear voices within the seemingly static and unmoving space. Through their movement, breathing and voices, all those entering the space become a part of the children’s unfinished games.
The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space is the largest scenography event in the world that explores a wide range of scenographic practices – from stage design and costume design to lighting design, sound design and new scenographic practices such as site-specific, applied scenography, urban performance, costume as performance, and much more.