Within his work, Mekhitar Garabedian (b. 1977, Aleppo, Syria), who has lived in Ghent since his youth, examines the position of the individual and the development of his identity. He puts a special focus on migration.
An important core of Garabedian's oeuvre is language and often its inadequacy to express emotions, experiences, tragedies and traumas, as well as the difficulty of transposing a personal identity into another language.
The words "Talking with other people's words, that's what I long for. That must be freedom", borrowed from Jean Eustache's film La Maman et la Putain (1973), are an important pivot in Garabedian's artistic practice. He quotes, reproduces and distorts.
He appropriates elements from literature, music, philosophy, film and the work of other visual artists to express his thoughts and shape his own identity. He refers to Arthur Rimbaud's 'Je est un autre' ('I am another') and to Roland Barthes' quote 'the text is a tissue of quotations from a thousand sources of culture'. Garabedian sees clear parallels between Barthes' quote and our human identity formation.