S / L a u g h t e r
Misunderstanding an expression


"Charles Garoian's performance art piece, "S/Laughter", is dedicated to the 1.5 million Armenians killed in the genocide of 1915. Large letters spelling "Laughter" are projected over 10-foot negatives of Garoian's face with expressions alternately showing laughter and extreme anguish. Garoian stands beside the letter "L" in "Laughter," singing the Armenian love song, "Khundzoree Dzareen Daguh ("Under the Apple Tree"). The projections of Garoian's facial expressions change at random intervals like bullet fire. With each new projection, Garoian stops his song, spins around, and slaps the wall, creating a loud, haunting sound and revealing a large "S" painted in red on the back of his white shirt. Thus, "Laughter" becomes "Slaughter" and then "Laughter" again."

Paul A. Blaum
"The Lonely Passion of Charles Garoian"
Ararat Quarterly, Vol.XXXII, No. 126, Summer 1991


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© Charles Garoian 2005