“The Lost Empire” is the culmination of thousands of hours of accumulation and elaboration of sculptural forms, adding cheap and tacky items from the candy store, the thrift store, the toy store. The found, the odd, the broken, and the lost. The end result is a royal tableau of a fictitious empire, encrusted with sappy and bejeweled materials. In this way an attempt is made to balance the deeply solemn and weighty history of Armenia and lineages of the past with a sense of the superficial, artificial and absurd, calling into question just how important these stories and power structures really are. Due to this balance we look upon a royal scene through the lens of the fair or circus, a cheesy stage set with idiotic individuals jockeying for control in a world that means nothing.
Click to hear an audio narrative of the allegory of “The Lost Empire”.
Armena, the empress is the last ruler. When she became empress, she lost her pride, her beauty and her unborn son. Before becoming empress, she was beautiful and innocent. She was so beautiful that no one could look at her without tears flooding their eyes. But in the empire she lost her beauty and she was blinded when her tears turned to glass over her eyes. She pretends to rule the Lostians, the inhabitants of the The Lost Empire. The Lostians pretend to worship and obey her. Deep in their hearts they have the vague hope that they need her to regain their empire, their lost power and peace.
Grave Digger is one of the most peculiar characters from the empire. It has no gender and does not obey anyone or anything, and its freedom gives it tremendous power. The Grave Digger is digging a large grave in the middle of the empire. In it, it buries beauty, pride, peace, love…
The Secret Keeper is one of most mysterious characters of the empire. He keeps the secrets of the empire in his case. Having globes for eyes, he can see things that others cannot. Polluted by the secrets that he keeps, he looks grotesque. He is always silent because he knows that his voice is even more ghastly than his look. He opens his case only for his empress, whom he worships. The empress uses the secrets to fight against The Others, the enemies of the empire that come from Banalia, another empire that conquered The Lost Empire. Being conquered and surrounded by The Others, the empire became lost somewhere between East and West. Surrounded by Banalia from all sides, no one can find it. The empress uses the Secret Keeper, but despises him, as he knows more than he should.
The Empress’ Favorite. No one in the empire knows the duties of The Favorite. He only serves the empress and only she knows what she keeps him for.
The Stork Aragil is a creature of the empire. His role is to host all the great souls of the empire, but the more souls he hosts, the weaker he becomes.
The Sun Holder holds the cold sun of the empire. He is the empire’s most powerful inhabitant and the cold sun he holds gives the empire light but no heat. But to keep him holding the sun the empress bribes him. Among the bribes are the treasures of the empire and the most interesting gossip, owned by her raven the Black Gossip. The Sun Holder takes the bribes but never promises anything. The empress and all the Lostians live in constant fear that one day he will stop holding the sun for them and they will be lost in the darkness forever.
The Lostian Army and its General
Train that goes nowhere