Unfinished

Julien Lombardi

2012 - 2015

Armenia

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia has been making the transition between the old order and a new political project that has yet to be achieved. With difficulty, another model is taking shape, one that remains impossible to define, as its form is continually shifting while the hardships facing the country are numerous. Two decades have passed and the country is still evolving on the sidelines, according to its own rules, and in its own time.

Contemporary Armenia is outside the flow of images, and illustrations of this young republic’s development are lacking, absent or even hidden. However, the issues affecting the territory of Armenia are in many ways indicative of the challenges of our time: how to reconstruct after the breakup of a union? How to develop a narrative for this new state without denying its history?

With the reappearance of its borders has come the need for 70 years of regional planning and political and economic organisation to be thought out anew amid conflict and isolation. Vestiges of the soviet era remain in this country of pastoral tradition, where everything goes on without anything definitive coming about. The environment is changing, but the present is sidestepped through the people’s aspirations for a more promising future.

Image by image, L’inachevé provides a visual investigation within a land immersed in waiting, as if in suspension. The captured spaces have the poetry of the unaccomplished, even unresolved, and they reflect an environment in search of a new definition. They comprise the scenery of a play that is to be performed, but according to uncertain timing. Rather than documenting the current situation, these photographs are directed towards history that has yet to be made and its prospects for renewal.

Through the demonstration of a theatrical dimension of reality, they question the possibilities of revival for this young republic, which is inexorably being emptied of its inhabitants. In this context, space becomes the mirror of a people’s struggle to recover their territory, and can be seen in the photographs of L’inachevé as bearing witness to memory in the course of its taking form.

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