After she had taken part in two of our group exhibitions, it seemed apposite to allow you to discover Aïda Kazarian's work in a monographic presentation of her work. We asked Alexandre Vanautgaerden to introduce her vital, sensitive work.
Tcharadjidji or the disobedience of the artist AlexandreVanautgaerden
In Armenian, Tcharadjidji is a familiar expression used to tick off unruly children. This admonition should be understood here as a metaphor of artistic life, in which you are often ticked off when you get off the beaten track. And yet an artistic adventure resides primarily in disobedience, and in the experimentation of untrodden ways.
For a long time now Aïda Kazarian has decided to let her body do the talking. Most of the time her paintings arise out of an event or a memory that moves her, whether it is a happy or a tragic one. She paints to utter a sudden joy or to give vent to sorrow. With her body. With her hands. Sometimes she works on minute spaces (golden round cake doilies, 5 centimetres in diameter), sometimes on several metre long spaces (when she paints on seemingly endless rolls).
She plants fingerprints. But that isn't all, since the painted object is after all only the last act in the play. In Aïda Kazarian's work emerges first and foremost a deportment, a certain way of being in the world, in harmony.
The gestures forming the thread of her paintings are repeated day after day in notebooks, as though she were doing her scales. She memorises the gestures she invents in order to be able to perform when the day comes, to make room for improvisation when the painting is there and has to be painted. This painting is a stage in a long journey in the course of which the artist's body has swung into action. This is a performance each time, of which the painting is the archive rather than the imprint.
Aïda Kazarian's painting is abstract and devoid of waffle, and it is based on the idea of repetition. It derives from a few choices which define how to embark on a piece of painting: a gesture, a support, a format, a material. The absence of any rhetoric does not mean the absence of any content, as there is a subject of the painting.
Aïda Kazarian is Armenian and she doesn't mention the genocide, since her childhood was marked by silence about that question. And yet, when you think of it, her works are reminiscences, of the emotions felt in the face of death. journeys, births, moments of reunion. When the artist presents a new work, she often relates what happened, the happy or unhappy accident behind her desire to paint.
In 1997, the first work done entirely without any tool, with her fingers, was dedicated to a deceased friend, then given to his girlfriend. The list of paintings bearing some connection with death is a long one. Her logbook is an endless battle to prolong life, illuminated with immaculate, iridescent colours, daring to use pink, the entire spectrum of light. On the support chosen (canvas, lead, roll of canvas, cake carton, wood…) a little tune remains, infinitely modulated, echoing certain phrases heard in the quartets of Tigran Mansourian, or in the rhythms of liturgical language restored by Komitas.
A desire for life so strong that it makes light of everything and infringes rules with a child's joy. Aïda Kazarian paints using actual gold or golden cake doilies, not making any distinctions. Her world is that of icons, whatever the support or the medium. The images she produces are concentrates of emotion, in which the reflection of natural light is always a vital actor. Her painted works need shadow slowly to emerge, then become revealed in broad daylight, when the sun reaches its zenith.