The mountain comes to me
5 DVDs, mobile maquette and a robot, 2007

Funded by l’Office fédéral de la culture sitemapping/mediaprojects

for traveling exhibitions

The mountain featured in my installation holds a significant place in my consciousness. Unlike the familiar Swiss mountains, I have never lived near this particular peak, yet it is deeply intertwined with my origins and identity.

The installation, titled The Mountain Comes to Me, centers on Mount Ararat, a majestic volcanic mountain located in the southeastern corner of Turkey. With a rich history that dates back to the third millennium BC, Mount Ararat has been a symbol of belonging for many, including the Armenians, who were among its earliest inhabitants. Over the centuries, the mountain has also been under the stewardship of Georgia, Iran, Russia, and Turkey, with its last tenure in Armenia from 1918 to 1920.
From Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, Mount Ararat is visible from any house, providing a constant yet one-sided view. The mountain’s other side, less familiar to Armenians, faces Turkey. Ararat has been a point of contention, with borders shifting around it for centuries, reflecting the desire of various nations to claim this iconic natural landmark.
Apart from its historical significance to Armenians, Mount Ararat is revered by some as the resting place of Noah’s Ark, adding a layer of spiritual mystique and granting it universal significance.

This installation moves away from a purely romantic or enigmatic portrayal of Mount Ararat. Instead, it suggests a temporary, virtual loan of this sacred mountain for a global tour, with the promise of returning it to its rightful place at the end of its journey.

[...Alina Mnatsakanian, an Iranian with Armenian roots, uses video installation (The Mountain Comes to Me) to speculate what might happen if countries, instead of trading cultural icons or diplomats, would exchange their highest mountains like Switzerland's Mont Blanc for Turkey's Mount Ararat. In her mind such exchanges might dissolve borders and end perennial questions of belonging, and the sense of longing for places that have become more of an inner vision than viable destination of return…]   — Daniella Walsh, Art Ltd

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