Memory of Trees
    23.4 > 17.7.2015

    The poetic and documentary sight of an American photographer about the Armenian genocide, in a new exhibition at the ‘Galleria del Cembalo’, from April 23rd to June 27th 2015 (extended through July 18th).

    “The mulberry trees stand watch, regarding the passage of time in Ağaçlı,
    forming a patch of green on the dusty Anatolian terrain,
    fed by spring water that trickles down from the valley above.

    Branches extended as if in declaration, and the leaves nourish a universe,
    sealed in thread. Silk, spun by plump worms on these leaves
    are given residence on the floors of village homes nestled by the gardens.

    Here, each tree soaks up rain and wind, sun and sorrow;
    Thrusts their roots into the deep earth of Ağaçlı, and bear witness.
    The century’s secrets pass in shadows beneath the shaded boughs.
    But they won’t tell us so plainly what happened here, or there.
    That lies within, quiescent, only returning to the story when called.”

    Kathryn Cook

    How to photograph what is not there anymore and that they tried to erase?

    Kathryn Cook spent seven years working patiently, looking for traces of the Armenian genocide – the first one in the history of the twentieth century – in which more than one million Armenians lost their lives. In Turkey.
    With a contemporary style, with poetry besides memory, Kathryn Cook discovers the threads of a fragmented story, composed of unspoken words, through Armenian and Turkish witness, that she met in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and France. She pauses here on the traces of that heritage, which she delineates in a delicate narration, mixing colour and black and white photographs.

    With this exceptional work, the author proposes a new way of representing suffering and evil, through repetition and symbols. The title “Memory of trees” recalls the name of the village Ağaçlı (meaning ‘the place of trees’) in the East side of Turkey, where Kathryn Cook took most of her shooting for a long time and which somehow represents the metaphor of her artistic path.


    Kathryn Cook
    A young girl stands on the ruin of the Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakir, Turkey, which was subsequently reconstructed with the encouragment of the city. A significant community once flourieshed in this south-eastern province.
    Kathryn Cook
    Visitors walk in a procession in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on the path toward the Genocide monument in Yerevan, Armenia on the eve of the Genocide anniversary - April 24th.
    Kathryn Cook
    A priest's frock hands out at an Armenian abbey in Jerusalem.
    Kathryn Cook
    An unnamed woman changes her headscarf at their home in Adiyaman, Turkey. Her husband, who converted to Christianity several years ago, is publicly Armenian. She, however, wishes to remain living as a Muslim even though she knows her origins.
    Press review