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This Artist Uses His Work to Explore Historical Erasure! View His Pieces During This Exhibit

Featuring three major works, FOCUS: Hrair Sarkissian explores histories of erasure and restitution, the sediments of conflict, and how violence can be made invisible. Now, be among the first to view Sarkissian’s first solo exhibition in Texas at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth on Saturday, January 25th!

Hrair Sarkissian was born in Damascus and currently lives in London and The Hague. He earned a BFA in photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, in 2010. At the heart of his exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is one of the artist’s most recent works, “Final Flight, 2018–19.” Here, Sarkissian investigates the story of the endangered northern bald ibis, one of the rarest birds in the world and the living descendants of birds depicted in the oldest Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Although these birds were declared extinct in 1989, a surviving colony of seven was discovered in 2002 in the Syrian Desert near Palmyra. The onset of the war in Syria in 2011 severely constrained the conservation program, and the birds disappeared again around the time Palmyra was destroyed in 2014. Sarkissian employed new technologies and age-old techniques to create sculptures of the birds’ skulls. These works were produced through high-resolution photogrammetry 3D technology.

The exhibition also presents Sarkissian’s most iconic work, Execution Squares, 2008. The 14 photographs that comprise the piece were taken in three Syrian cities – Aleppo, Lattakia, and Damascus – in the early morning, the time of day when criminals are executed. This serves a twofold purpose: it allows the public to see the sentence one would incur for a particular crime, but it is also a means of revenge on behalf of the victim and their family. These executions are public events, where people who pass by becoming witnesses – willingly or not – to the extinguishment of life.

FOCUS: Hrair Sarkissian is presented in association with the Sharjah Art Foundation and will be on display until March 15, 2020. Admission prices will vary and includes entrance to permanent collection exhibitions, all special and traveling exhibitions, and scheduled tours and gallery programs. For more information, please visit

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Event Time/Date:
Saturday, January 25, 2020—10:00 AM

Event Venue Location:
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

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