Black Maria Gallery
3137 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Contact: Zara Zeitountsian
Tel: 323. 660 9393
Fax: 323. 669 2821
E-mail: [email protected]

Black Maria Gallery Will Host

Exhibition to Raise Funds for a Cross-Cultural Mission in Turkey
- Installation will Feature New Sculptures by Kardash Onnig -

Los Angeles - Black Maria Gallery announced a major installation by Kardash
Onnig, featuring new and recent works by the New York-based sculptor.
Opening on Thursday, June 8, at 7 PM, the exhibition will continue until
Sunday, June 11.

The installation at Black Maria Gallery will serve to raise funds in support
of a peace mission that Kardash plans to undertake in Turkey. The mission
will include the creation of linkages with Turkish artists and cultural
leaders, collaborative projects designed to promote cross-border dialogue,
and a teen apprenticeship program in sculpture and carving taught by Kardash

Kardash's installation is part of his evolving "Tools" project, now entering
its third decade that consists of sculptures based on the idea of the

"It's all about universality," Kardash explained. "Virtually every culture
on the planet has symbols and metaphors deriving from the quaternary, or the
principle of four. Think of the four seasons, the four elements, the four
corners of the world. In other words, our most profound cultural aspirations
speak of the universal, of embracing the whole, whereas we're stuck in
two-dimensional modes of thinking such as nationalism or corporate
globalization, and we worship two-dimensional devices, such as our
technological wonders that actually prevent us from experiencing things
beyond our cocoons. The 'Tools'

Project is my way of shattering the barriers of two-dimensionality, of
crossing borders, to both acknowledge and experience 'the other.'"

Kardash said his project owes much to his travels throughout the world. He
has lived and worked in a number of diverse societies, and many of his
sojourns have inspired him to undertake various teaching and writing
initiatives. For the past 20 years he has conducted a Teen Apprenticeship
Program in New York, fostering unfettered artistic expression grounded in
advanced techniques and discipline. He has also authored several monographs
and children's books, all of which share a message of nonviolence and
cultural concordance through mutual understanding.

"Ninety-one years have passed since the Genocide of Armenians in Ottoman
Turkey, yet Armenian-Turkish dialogue is not only nonexistent today, it's an
enormous taboo," Kardash explained. "But I'm not pursuing a specifically
political mission by trying to create links with Turkish cultural workers
and teaching sculpture to talented kids. I'm just doing my thing as a
sculptor and as someone genuinely interested in advancing peace across
national divides. In the past, I've conducted similar programs in
Nagorno-Karabagh and elsewhere, and I'm not interested in only the
Armenian-Turkish issue. I believe the canvas of peace and mutual
understanding should be spread throughout the world, irrespective of one's

Kardash's installation at Black Maria Gallery will include an interactive
feature whereby visitors will be encouraged to move around his sculptures to
form distinct "ensembles" and set-ups. These movements will be taped by an
overhead camera and projected onto a screen in the main space of the
gallery. There will also be shown a mini documentary on Kardash, including
clips of the artist discussing the concept of the quaternary.

Black Maria is located at 3137 Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village.
Gallery summer hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 6 PM. For more
information, call 323. 660 9393

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