Armenoui Kasparian

Kasparian’s practice focuses on photographic archives, materiality, memory, postmemory and trauma. Kasparian is an AHRC Doctoral Fellow at Central Saint Martins, UAL and a former fellow at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Exhibitions include: Kochi Muziris Biennale, India; CRASSH Research Centre of Cambridge University; the Christie’s; Pingyao International Photography Festival, China.


Under a deep red morocco with a gilt letterpress title, the book Lawrence Cesnola’s Collection, Cyprus Antiquities, excavated by Major Alexander Palma di Cesnola, 1876-1879 comprises 60 albumen photographs and silk moiré endpapers with printed English text. Bearing on the current debates around collection, classification, documentation and display of Cypriot archaeology and the significance of such practices in the formation of the cultural identity in Cyprus, my project takes a close examination of the rare album. I focus on the representation and materiality of the album, in order to question the motives behind the accumulation of knowledge around Cypriot archaeology; the rationale for collecting, evaluating and displaying Cypriot antiquities worldwide; as well as the strategies of representation employed in the documentation of the artefacts at the time. 

—ARMENOUI KASPARIAN