Gary Deirmendjian

Wynscreen contributing artist

Born: 1967, Armenia, USSR.
Lives in Sydney, Australia.

presence
2016, duration 32 mins, looped 
Commissioned by Transport for NSW 
Screening times:
6am-3pm on odd-numbered days throughout November 2018
3pm-12am on even-numbered days throughout November 2018

Artist Statement

Once a believer I now rest my faith in uncertainty.

There’s been a lifelong personal struggle towards a firming appreciation of our oneness as a single species, and of our extreme smallness in the context of a humming, vast and indifferent universe. The understanding that ours is a momentary existence on a speck of dust adrift in boundless space has gained considerable density. 

The tension between the felt sublime of this base truth and the many ways in which we are ushered away from knowing it fully, is somehow what has managed to surge the expression in all its forms. 

The core interest lies in the tidal mechanisms of social conditioning and one’s place in the given oceans of unquestioned attitudes and mass acceptance. 

The expression in turn continues to find inspiration in the ever enduring and conquering individual, of any time and place, who has struggled through and come to see beyond the assumed certainties.

In both intent and purpose, presence is deeply rooted in this very arrival.

Suggesting itself as another realm (unearthly even) with inhabitants at once familiar yet foreign, presence lies as a silent counterweight to the rush and daily life of Wynyard, its terrain appearing to stretch deep into the fog, well beyond the curved glazing: the monumental bay window that separates us. 

Their unthreatened and non-threatening focus is us and our way of being it seems.

Let it take the viewer’s fancy, should they allow it to.

Acknowledgement

The production values achieved in presence owe much to the broad and advanced talents of Shahane Bekarian, the key personnel.

More importantly, I thank him for the emotional intellengece with which he grasped the intent.

Production Credits 

  • Artist and Director: Gary Deirmendjian
  • Producer and Effects: Shahane Bekarian
  • Camera and Lighting: Matthew Syres
  • Principal talent: Jacinta Acevski, Joseph Gambriello, Drew Connor Holland, Dion Horstmans, Johnny Diaz Nicolaidis, Charemaine Seet, Marina Seet, Zara June Williams, Justine Youssef
  • Talent: Duha Ali, Shahane Bekarian, Mechelle Bounpraseuth, Jasper Deirmendjian, Ben Giles, Ann Hardie, Samuel Kirby 
  • Studio hand: Jasper Deirmendjian  

Artist Biography 

Gary Deirmendjian’s practice encompasses sculpture, photography, video, installation and site-specific intervention. Working predominantly in public/shared space, he is broadly recognised for creating thought provoking and socially concerned works that are of a challenging scale and immersive. He has exhibited extensively and received numerous awards and new work invitations and commissions for private and public artworks, as well as site-specific projects, realised broadly in Australia and several internationally. 

He holds an MFA in Sculpture from the National Art School (2006), Sydney, where he currently teaches (Sessional Lecturer since 2012). 

Prior to turning to full-time artistic practice, Gary trained as an Aeronautical Engineer (Honours, University of NSW, 1990) becoming significantly active in Defence Research & Development and then Industrial Design through establishing private practice and teaching (Lecturer, University of Western Sydney, 1996–2001). He is the author/photographer of Sydney Sandstone (Craftsman House, 2002), containing essay contributions from fellow collaborators, including Tim Flannery and Phillip Cox. 

www.garo.com.au