This work is part of the rewind archive.
Year: 1978-79Original formats:
1/2 inch EIAJ reel-to-reelType of work:
Technical details: Consists of 2 channels: Still Life & Self Portrait. There are two versions of Self Portrait. Version 1 was made in 1978 on 1/2" reel to reel in B/W. Version 2 was made in 1979 on Lo Band Umatic in colour.
The idea of using the ‘Vanitas’ theme in Krikorian’s work came originally from a painting which she saw in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford. The title of the 17th century painting is Allegory of Justice and Vanitas; in which a woman is seated holding a mirror, which is facing the spectator. A number of still life objects including a skull and a candlestick denoting the transience of life are reflected in the mirror. In other Vanitas paintings, the self-portrait of the artist is also seen as a symbol of transience. Some Dutch ‘memento mori’ paintings would have a portrait on the front and a still life on the back. In Vanitas or An Illusion of Reality, the two TVs are placed back to back, splitting the vanitas subjects with a still life with butterflies and bubbles and flowers on one screen and a self portrait of the artist holding a mirror reflecting the changing faces of the newsreaders on the other. The newsreaders can be seen as 20th century icons. The work relates to the ephemeral nature of TV itself.
Leaflet for the exhibition ‘Eye to Eye: Two installations by Tamara Krikorian’, The Frutmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 20 October – 17 November 1979. Includes works ‘Vanitas’ and ‘Tableau’.pdf here
Statement on Vanitas or an Illusion of reality, 1979, by Krikorian.pdf here