Cartoons on Armenian Genocide displayed in Weston

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Cartoons on Armenian Genocide Displayed in Weston

Weston Town Crier, Weston, Mass.

June 5, 2015

“Lucine Kasbarian: Perspectives from Exile” is a special, short-term exhibition that examines the work of artist and political cartoonist Lucine Kasbarian, whose words and images unflinchingly chronicle the intergovernmental relationship between Armenia, Turkey and the U.S.; the history of the Armenian Genocide; and the persistent denial for over a hundred years of those crimes against humanity.

The exhibition is part of “Kiss the Ground,” which also features the work of 10 other Armenian-American artists.

“Kiss the Ground” has been organized by the Thompson Gallery at The Cambridge School of Weston (CSW) to overlap with the centennial memorialization of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. It explores themes of memory, loss and cultural introspection. Kasbarian’s political cartoons provide the exhibition with a set of lenses that pull both current and historical affairs into view. “Lucine Kasbarian: Perspectives from Exile” illustrates the ongoing unrest between involved nations after what is now over a century of genocide denial. It also brings clarity to the complicated relations between homeland Armenians and Diaspora Armenians, a subject that until recently has remained largely unexplored.

“My work spotlights realities and hypocrisies that do not receive adequate coverage in mainstream media,” said the New Jersey- and Massachusetts-based political cartoonist. “My cartoons drive home these points in absurdist, paradoxical ways by drawing from history, popular culture and personal experience.”

Kasbarian is a second generation, Armenian-American descendant of genocide survivors, brought up in an Armenian-speaking home where humor, politics and the arts shared equal stage. Since that time, her comics have appeared in a number of publications.

Kasbarian’s cartoons are typically printed in high contrast. However, for this unique exhibition, they have been scanned and enlarged to twice their original size to provide the audience with insight into her creative process.

Using her own visual language and iconography, the artist works with everyday materials to chronicle Armenian political affairs. In her comic/tragic cosmology, all subjects are revisited, as current events develop in today’s news and re-informs yesterday’s understandings.

“I assembled ‘Kiss the Ground’ to demonstrate the power of memory during this particular 100-year marker,” said Todd Bartel, gallery director and CSW visual arts teacher.

Added Kasbarian, “I am very grateful for the opportunity to exhibit my political cartoons about the Armenian Genocide, on our centennial anniversary, at The Cambridge School of Weston. The students are extremely creative, focused and engaged. Who wouldn’t want to have the free-thinking adults of tomorrow perusing an artist’s social commentaries of today?”

he Thompson Gallery is located within the Garthwaite Center for Science and Art at The Cambridge School of Weston, 45 Georgian Road, Weston, Mass.