‘This project, in yellow neon, has as its basis language itself. It is a work which is both a reflection on its own construction as well as on the history and culture of its location. This work is comprised of words from the Armenian, Italian and English language. Language here is used as a signifier of the history of the project of the Mekhitarian Order. Yellow neon is chosen for this work because of the symbolic understanding of yellow at the time of the founding of the monastery as meaning ‘virtue, intellect, esteem and majesty’ (Böckler, 1688). The two supportive components of the work, based on the word ‘water’, are comprised of words arrived at through a view of their history and use.
One aspect of this installation shows this relationship. The other part reflects the role of these words in the Haygazian Pararan, or Armenian Dictionary (1749) compiled by Abbot Mekhitar, founder of the Order. The structure of this installation has two elements, which are integrated on four diverse architectural locations: the bell tower, the northwest wall, the promontory, the observatory. These four locations reflect both the diversity of the island’s architecture as well as articulating its history and culture. The work engages the cultural and social history of the evolution of language itself, how the history of a word shows its ties to cultures and social realities quite distinct and disconnected. It is only in the present when a word is used, as it is with a work of art being experienced, that all that which comprises the present finds its location in the process of making meaning. Here, in this work, language becomes both an allegory and an actual result of all of which it should want to speak.’ Joseph Kosuth