The Canadian Art Database

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
Toronto Canada 2013
[Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2006 to 2013]

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photo: Miklos Legrady

Melik Ohanian - Paris, France, New York, USA

El Agua de Niebla, 2008

5 - Bay Street & Queen Street West

[ photographs ]  [ video ]

El Agua de Niebla is a giant hammock, hand-woven by several families from the Mayapán village in Mexico employing traditional Mexican techniques. At his first meeting with the villagers, Melik Ohanian explained his desire to offer a hammock to his father, a giant. Amused by this idea, the villagers met daily in the town school over eight weeks to produce the equivalent of 44 regular hammocks.

Composed of 72,000 meters of thread, the hammock unfolds to 41 meters in length. The scale of the traditional hammock is increased, thus creating a strange collective territory. The scale fascinates viewers by its sheer size, poetry and dream inducing force, while the curved shape drawn by the weight of the textile reveals an intrinsic force at work, that of gravity, which defines and shapes the piece.

Through this work the artist highlights the complexity of temporal intervals, which, in more or less obvious ways, govern our relationship to the world and others.

El Agua De Niebla draws its name from the outstretched nets cast by farmers in the Chilean mountains, used to collect water from clouds for crop irrigation.

Born in France in 1969, Melik Ohanian lives and works in Paris and New York. His work can be understood in terms of physical and conceptual territories that focus on the concept of time. He has taken part in a large number of solo and group shows around the world.

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris. © Melik Ohanian

Toronto Culture / Scotiabank