In conversation with University of Illinois graduate student Helen Makhdoumian, Syrian-born Armenian artist Kevork Mourad will discuss how he conceptualizes migration, memory and place-making through his paintings and visual performances. Mourad depicts the Syrian refugee crisis and co-existence in cities like Qameshli, Aleppo and Damascus. He will elucidate how his and his ancestors' memories of the Syrian Civil War and the Armenian genocide inform his representations of upheaval and survival.
Mourad’s work, A World Through Windows, is on display beginning February 23, 2021 at the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures. Photos of the work, along with videos and statements by the artist are viewable virtually at: https://go.illinois.edu/spurlock-mourad. A World Through Windows explores the way the pandemic has reduced our sense of space and our spheres of influence, even while it has spread globally and therefore increased our connectivity around the world. In the piece, each window opens onto the world of a household, with each household isolated from the next. Only when the viewer steps back and looks at the whole building is it possible to get a sense of community—community being the sharing of happiness and suffering, the sense of the communality of the emotions and experiences that make us human.
In conjunction with: Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, College of Fine and Applied Arts, Department of English, Humanities Research Institute, Program in Comparative and World Literature, Program in Jewish Culture and Society, Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, School of Music, Spurlock Museum