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Heliographs from the series Anthropotopy 2017-2023 
Heliography, Charcoal, Burnt Pits of Apricots

Armenian photographer Armen Ter-Mkrtchyan, hailed as the “Alchemist of Memory,” captures sunlight on film in his unique heliography. With Ter-Mkrtchyan crafting his own camera obscura, each image takes approximately fortyfive minutes to appear, imprinting each image with a “date of birth” timestamp. By integrating elements like charcoal and burnt apricot kernels, his photos acquire a rich, organic texture. The matte black tones contrast with the silky whites. Over time, his photographs evolve, mirroring the ever-changing living world. Memory takes centre stage in Ter-Mkrtchyan’s work; his handcrafted cameras and sun-sensitised paper techniques amplify the vividness of our memories that fade in over time. The photographer captures the essence of memory, recognizing its intricate and ephemeral nature, and his photographs become visual echoes of our recollections, blurring the boundaries between internal and external perspectives. Reflecting memory’s elusive nature, his images exude a vibrant aliveness that resonates with the fleeting quality of our past experiences. Just as memories evolve and fade over time, so too, do photographs, reminding us of the impermanence that colours our existence.

Facebook Page of Armen Ter-Mkrtchyan

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