The Book of Gharīb is a limited-edition artist book published in collaboration with the Lucerne-based Hallow Ground label. It was conceived as part of Gharīb – Arutiunian’s solo show at Venice Biennale, Armenia Pavilion 2022. The hardcover book contains essays by Andrius Arutiunian, Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh and Anna Della Subin on sonic dissent, disappearance and sleep, together with monochrome photos connected to the notion of Gharīb.
For a just second now, think of trickery as a form of internalised knowledge. Perhaps we should all acknowledge charlatanism (for what is it but a rich science of disappearance – of beliefs, of hierarchies, or simply of your hard-earned money) as the only legitimate way of being fully attuned to the world. Tricking the world into a perfectly-tuned state. Tricking the elements, natural forces and humanly intentions to occur within a predetermined score. Trickery as a codified attempt to conjure the supernatural, avert bad luck, and deflect misfortune–in other words, trickery as apotropaic magic. And back to temperament and ways of organising, tuning itself as an ultimate form of tricker y – tricksters of ears juggling with ratios of both musical and political proportions.
Musical trickstery might appear less important than having your pockets emptied, but believe me, it might be equally disheartening. Musical laws that govern our ears have long been associated with violent colonial powers and bizarre artificiality disguised under the pretence of natural sciences. Yet the logic that appears to innocently tweak certain frequencies is also slowly eroding a way of being in the world. A sounding, polyphonous way that contains the ability to disappear as well. Tuning not only as a principle of musical law, but also as a way of political organisation. Establishing a disorder within an otherwise perfectly attuned system.
(Excerpt from This World Will Disappear Before You Read It by Andrius Arutiunian)