Execution Squares, 2008

Hrair Sarkissian

Biennial, Exhibitions, Collection

Hrair Sarkissian, Execution Squares (No.20), 2008, lamda print mounted on aluminium
125 x 175 cm, Image courtesy of Kalfayan Galleries, Athens -Thessaloniki, Sharjah Art Foundation Collection

Artist's Statement

The series Execution Squares was photographed in three Syrian cities – Aleppo, Lattakia and Damascus – in the early morning, which is the hour that criminals are executed.

In some countries, the death penalty by execution still exists for crimes such as murder, rape and treason. In Syria, this form of punishment is still carried out in major public squares, commonly found in the heart of the city where the community gathers for various activities. Occasionally, these squares are near the scene of the crime. The reasoning behind this is to allow the public to see the sentence that one would incur for a particular crime but also as a means of revenge on behalf of the victim and his family.

These executions are seen as public events, where people who pass by become witnesses – willingly or not – to the extinguishment of the life of individuals who have committed a crime.

Hrair Sarkissian
2009

 

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