How are you: “Inchbes es”
Very well, thank you: “Shat lav”
What's up: “Inch ka chga”
"Inchbes es" is a 3-channel video installation. I have created two cinemagraphs and one standard video that are intended to represent my identity as an Armenian-American. On the left, there is a cinemagraph of a pomegranate being pounded to expel the seeds. The pomegranate is included in many Armenian recipes and is the quintessential Middle Eastern fruit. The repetitious pounding and the splattering of the blood red seeds raise ideas about the violence that I know happened to my family and countless others during the Armenian Massacres. The cinemagraph of the coffee being poured could either be Turkish or Armenian coffee (they are virtually identical). This never-ending pour is intended to reference the never-ending flood of questions that I have about the massacres and the experiences that my family members endured.
Of all the Armenian phrases I learned growing up (and after two years of Armenian school), there is only one phrase that I can remember, “Inchbes es”, which means, “How are you?”.
I am always concerned with whether I am pronouncing it correctly or if I sound like the least ethnic Armenian on the planet.
The legacy that the Armenian Genocide has left for the current generation of Armenian-Americans is one where our culture and history are at the core of our identity. But what happens when our language, food, music, and history are lost? Does this loss equate a loss of identity? Can the current generation truly identify with what it means to be an Armenian?
• Cinemagraphs combine features of video and photography to create the illusion of a still image but with motion effects.
• The Armenian Genocide was the systematic extermination of the Armenians from our historic territory constituting the present day Republic of Turkey. Between 1915-1918 an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were massacred.
• "Inchbes es" is part of a larger project entitled, "The Past Is Present".