"How We Live" Is in Sebastião Salgado Tradition of Documentary Photography
Reviewed by Nairi Varteressian
In the context of the "How We Live" exhibition, Sara Anjargolian's photographs demonstrate the validity of the old axiom "a picture is worth a thousand words"—particularly thanks to the sheer audacity of the show's curator and designer, Narineh Mirzaeian. An architect by training who works as a project manager with Frank Gehry, Mizraeian insisted that the images be blown up and printed on large hanging fabrics, and lighted in such a way that the viewer cannot disengage from the striking imagery, but connects with the larger-than-life people in Anjargolian's narrative. The double-sided "posters" are made of fabric that hang from black ropes attached to the warehouse beams. Viewers walk in circles and feel as if they are entering the living rooms of the poor, rather than remaining detached by staring at two-dimensional photographs on a gallery wall.
A photographer and attorney, Anjargolian was commissioned by the Tufenkian Foundation to capture the daily struggles of Armenians. Over 40 large prints of her work were displayed during the "How We Live" exhibit opening/fundraiser that took place on March 26th and 27th at Casitas Studios in Atwater Village. The exhibit included nine families living in extreme poverty in the villages of Geghard, Getap, Nubarashen, Arinch, Vanadzor, the outskirts of Etchmiadzin and even the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. A short documentary showed Anjarolian interviewing some of her subjects in Armenian, with English subtitles. Visit howwelive.org.