University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • Apo Torosyan : Poems

    "Immigration" Installation

    A floor partially covered with mounds of earth. Viewers walk through a clear pathway in between. Newspapers from different countries with loaves of bread on them lie scattered on the earth. In the background is the soundtrack of bare hands making dough.

    On the walls hang the "Bread Series" of paintings on canvas. I choose bread today because it includes all three elements of my statement: texture, symbolism, and the' ordinary object. Texture symbolizes time, and bread and soil symbolize life and the ordinary object.

    The story of this installation is immigration. It is symbolic. The location could be any place. The environment provides a cultural shock value akin to what an immigrant would face. The newspaper represents the tablecloth of the poor man, and indicates time and history. The mounds of earth symbolize the obstacles in the immigrants' new life.

    The viewers walk into an environment where, finding earth, they familiarize themselves with their previous environment, their "homeland", the outside world. In one area bread, wine (or grape juice), and olives, are shared by the viewers. By talking to each other, writing their own impressions or dislocation experiences, the viewers are creating new memories. By doing this, this corner becomes their new home, their new settlement. They become the new .immigrants.

    Participation of Visitors

    Everyone has a travel or new environment story, which could be included in an immigration concept. I would like to incorporate these writings into the installation.

    All visitors will be provided with paper and pen to write down their immigration or new settlement experiences. With the permission of the writers, those writings will be used in future shows to share the experience with other visitors.

    Installation Photographs

    Visitors watching "Discovering my Father's Village"
    Visitors watching "Discovering my Father's Village" DVD going on a loop every 30 minutes.
    "Bread Series" on the back wall
    "Bread Series" on the back wall.  Another Corner had a 30 minute DVD named the "Bread Series" running continuously.
    The installation soundtrack, of hands making dough, was constantly playing during the show hours.
    Visitors writing their migration or immagration stories
    Visitors writing their migration or immigration stories, on provided pads, which would be used for future exhibitions.

    Florida Holocaust Museum

    "Hope, Not Hate"

    Hope not hate article.