Installation, D-Art, Dallas, Texas, 1993
Robert Barsamian’s musical family background growing up made Vartan Gomidas an Armenian priest in the early 1900s who collected and documented the rural folksongs of Armenia of profound interest. Growing up in an Armenian ethnic pocket of an industrial town, singing and playing music to cultural songs was part of the fabric. Gomidas is recognized as one of the pioneers of ethnomusicology. He developed a “bible” of the folksongs and created a unique way to preserve the Armenian music.
Barsamian used a sourced image Gomidas, he painted it in black on a gold background surrounded by steel supports and a place to put stones to collect the “tears” of a grateful culture as the water feature dripped over the image of Gomidas. Angels, churches and women also are drawn in black and white – a montage of a way of living lost, people, places that are remembered and need to be examined again.