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Melik Ohanian was born in Lyon in 1969 in France, where he lives and works. He is a French contemporary artist of Armenian origin. Ohanian lives and works in Paris and New York. His work has been shown in many solo exhibitions including: Galerie Chantal Crousel and Palais de Tokyo in Paris, South London Gallery in London, De Appel in Amsterdam, IAC in Villeurbanne, Yvon Lambert in New York, Museum in Progress in Vienna, and Matucana 100 in Santiago de Chile. He has also taken part in a large number of group exhibitions around the world, in particular the São Paulo biennial (representing France), the Berlin and Sydney biennials in 2004, the Moscow and Lyon biennials in 2005 and the Gwangju and Seville biennials in 2006 and the 52nd edition of the Venice Biennale in 2007.

Ohanian’s body of work does not hesitate to capture the great evils of the world. A work about immigrant workers in the United Arab Emirates was first commisioned and then excluded from a biennial in the middle-east. Over the past twenty years, he has developed a personal oeuvre based on a particular attention to the relationships between science, astrophysics, politics and visual arts.

Time as a motivation for competition is the source of this early work, At Late (1998), for which Ohanian asked three athletes to race against a spatial stopwatch – that of 16 mm film stock cropped to the length of the duration of their own personal records. Suspense builds as the runners speed around the indoor track while the metric length of the reel counts down in the upper-right-hand corner of the image, cutting off regardless of the athletes’ proximity to the finish line.


Melik Ohanian