This paper investigates some of the ways that diaspora Armenians in Los Angeles try to bridge the gaps between their community and that of others through art and discourse. The focus of the field research for this paper was a small art gallery in Los Angeles. While curating an exhibit of five (Armenian and non-Armenian) photographers in autumn 2008, I examined the manner with which the artists and staff interacted with one another; communicated their respective approaches regarding home, place, and exile; and created discourse about identity. In this paper, my description of the time spent on the curatorial project is paired with interviews with gallery patrons and artists as well as my own insight into what it is like to be an Armenian American artist living in Los Angeles. The line between ethnography and creative non-fiction is blurred, resulting in a layered discussion of self, identity, and art.
|Keywords:||Diaspora, Gallery, Armenian, American, Identity, Community, Ethnography, Journal|
PhD Candidate, Media Studies , Cultural Studies Program, Claremont Graduate University, Los Angeles, California, USA