Combining rusty sewer pipes and celestial skies, the latest installation from Armenian artist Anush Ghukasyan is a thought-provoking, hopeful take on humanity’s fraught relationship with nature.
On the outside, Inside Out consists of rust-coloured sewer pipes emerging from the earth. But peer a little closer, and you’ll see the inside of each pipe is covered with dreamy paintings of blue skies and soft white clouds. By embedding this imagery inside the pipes — with their obviously negative connotations — Ghukasyan seeks to reflect on human confinement: both during the Covid-19 pandemic, and by looking at how modern lives distance us from our environment. But there is also a note of hope in how each pipe connects with each other.
“The installation is a bold statement of how far humanity has drifted away from nature,” exhibition curator Nairi Khatchadourian told The Calvert Journal. “It interprets this imposed sedentary lifestyle through the pipe system, and suggests that in each network, there are new possibilities of movement, transition, routing.”
The installation was first set up as a public art display in Nubarashen, Armenia, before moving to Yerevan’s Cafesjian Center for the Arts, where it is showing in collaboration with aha art collective online until mid-June, to mark Ghukasyan’s first solo exhibition. An established installation artist in Armenia, Ghukasyan’s work often consists of clay sculptures modified with techniques from graphic arts and printmaking, and inspired by medieval and prehistoric Armenian ceramics.
You can tour around the exhibition here.