Farrah Karapetian


September 12 – October 24, 2009

Opening Reception: Saturday September 12, 2009

Sandroni. Rey is pleased to announce Lightyear, Farrah Karapetian’s first solo show with the gallery. Through new photograms, video, and sculpture, Karapetian explores the contemporary political landscape of Southern California as well as her preoccupation with the passage of time. Modes of transportation and concerns with surveillance figure strongly in the pieces on exhibit as does Karapetian’s unique regard for the plastic nature of photographic process. The 20 x 10 foot photogram Stowaway mimics the X-Ray technology currently used to identify illegal immigrants inside trucks at U.S. border crossings and shows the interior of a moving van replete with V-8 engine, Mexican Coke bottles, and a man. In Driver’s Side, a driver’s side door frames an animated video of a 3-mile stretch of La Cienega where commercial storefronts give way to oil fields. In We All Go The Same Way Home, a bus shelter frames self-portraits of the artist at 30 and, altered by forensic age-progression specialists, at 70. The show’s eponymous piece, Lightyear, is a circular video projection that uses a 3d body scan of the artist as a sundial
to consider issues of pace and place.

Other images on exhibition are photograms made from signage familiar from the urban landscape, such as those warning of surveillance technologies; Karapetian has animated these signs by contact printing them multiple times. Each piece derives from Karapetian’s observation of imagery on the internet or in the neighborhood of her studio and exhibits the elasticity with which she regards the conventions of both the photographic process and its display.

Farrah Karapetian was born in 1978 in California, where she continues to live and work. Having studied photography for her BA at Yale, Karapetian pursued graduate work in photography at UCLA, where her practice took a sculptural turn. She has exhibited her work at the Aspen Art Museum and at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Parc Saint-Léger, France, among other locations. Upcoming projects include a group installation at a foreclosed property in Los Angeles and a traveling exhibition developed by Kim Schoen for Material Press in which participating artists curate one another’s work.