Lucie Khahoutian. With All This Darkness Round Me I Feel Less Alone
At the crossroads between religious rituals and psychotic behaviours, this story narrates a slow plunge into insanity while observing the impact of an inherently human dedication (to a cause, to a god, or even to others). We are taken onto this one-way journey, wavering between isolation, abandonment, blindness, and oblivion. The timid human figure fades away, becoming its own shadow, ghostlike, maybe. If eyes are “the window to the soul”, here they are often missing, hidden under blinders, ornaments, veils, or on the contrary, omnipresent, in the form of artefacts. As if our subject was literally losing sight along with their power to discern.
Here we stage a wedding celebration, the utmost human alliance in the eyes of God, the union of soulmates. And yet it is as if one had to give up on their identity in order to reach the sacred union with their loved one, and through it, with God. Simple rituals of communal life become rituals of faith and devotion; soon one belongs to the other. The protagonists become shapeless, passive forms; they don’t really see what is happening. They have become the shadows of forgotten ancestors.
In this traditional setting, magic is invoked, to test faith almost, and resolve the inexplicable. The isolated duo appears weakened rather than fortified and struggles to communicate in the clamour of Babel’s tower. We end up witnessing the fall of individuality and the insanity emerging from being isolated. In the most absolute harmony we could not hide from solitude. Could we then be alone together?
Lucie Khahoutian (1990, Armenia) is an Armenian visual artist born in Erevan. In 2010 she graduated from Minas Avetysyan School of Fine Arts and two years later she received a degree in fine arts from the American University of Armenia. Lucie is a part of the Live Wild collective, and her works have been published online and in print. Her projects approach a wide range of subjects with a special focus on religion, spirituality, and mysticism. She lives in Tbilissi, Georgia.