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Sarkis: Alive and After at San Francisco Art Institute
Sarkis: Alive and After.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- San Francisco Art Institute is pleased to present Sarkis: Alive and After, the first major US exhibition to examine the work of Paris-based artist Sarkis, bringing long overdue attention to this prominent figure of the global art scene whose career spans more than 40 years. Curated by Hou Hanru, SFAI’s new Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs, this exhibition presents an installation of 39 films, a suite of watercolor drawings, texts, photographs, and site-specific neon works.

“This complex and enduring project opens up a space in which the audience can enter into a continuous dialogue with the artist, and with the fantastic world that the artist has created through his infinite dialogue with other creators,” explains Hou Hanru. “With Alive and After, SFAI’s galleries become a site of production, a laboratory, a workshop . . . Sarkis’ practice not only includes his own productions, but also the exchanges between himself, his works, and the audience. His work represents the oscillation between exile and freedom, cultural difference and social restructuring, which are highly significant and influential ideas in our age of globalization.”

Born in Istanbul to an Armenian family, Sarkis currently lives and works in Paris. Evolving out of his experience as an “exile,” Sarkis’ work can be seen as a meditation on the tensions between memory and space. His works are profoundly concerned with humanity, and “unfold a personal universe from the contrasts between light and darkness, green and red, material and immaterial, appearance and disappearance . . .” Simultaneously, Sarkis illuminates the relationship between cinema and contemporary art. As writer/critic Érik Bullot describes, “At a time when the relationships between cinema and contemporary art are multiplying and questioning the different frontiers of artistic practice, it is enlightening to observe the delicate and violent film work of Sarkis.”

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