Database of Armenian photo-media practioners

Antoinette Oahnnessian

born 1960

1980 - 2010s

Antoinette Ohannessian is an artist deeply engaged with the materials and tools that create the communication field. Words and language semantics are her primary object of interest and point of questioning. Born in ex-USSR autonomous republic of Abkhazia, Ohannessian emigrated to France with her mother in 1966. After studying art at the Paris School of Fine Arts in the 1980s and then Philosophy in the 1990s, Ohannessian has steadily developed a significant body of work that impresses with its formal consistency and analytical depth.

Pushing from the conceptual and word art practices of American pioneers such as Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari, Ohannessian composes a series of books and conceptual pieces that investigate the phenomenological aspect of language and its power to suggest associations that go beyond the retinal perception of reality.

In recent years, Ohannessian has increasingly moved to video and photography in an attempt to give speech a ‘body’ and a sense of materiality, which makes the audience really ‘see’ what is being ‘said’. The frisson between visual and linguistic representation in her work, wryly exposes the thinness of communicative ice that covers a sea of absurdity. In her latest videos, political, social aspects have become more prominent as the artist widens the geo-political scope of her work, from France to Sarajevo and Armenia.

Ohannessian has exhibited widely in Europe and is currently preparing a major retrospective of her oeuvre.


Armenian, French


Armenia, France




contemporary art, conceptual photography


analogue photography, video art, photo-media installation, photobook


Antoinette Ohannessian, Les passions d'un monochrome bleu, Thierry Magnier, 2014


2014: Սեյմուր, խմբակային ցուցահանդես, Ժամանակակից արվեստի նախագծերի Եվրոպական կենտրոն, Ստրասբուրգ


Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation, Yerevan Museum of Contemporary Art, Val de Marne

Other images by this author