Hollow Stone: The Life and Disappearance of Narek Grigoryan

Twin Cities artist David Sollie weaves stories and images into strange narratives in which fact and fiction mingle without clear boundaries. In fact Sollie took most of the photos for this haunting show in Armenia near a village called Gyumri which, not long ago, was shattered by an earthquake. The hills there do bristle with strange cactus-like plants, and ancient people did attribute rejuvenatory power to a curiously eroded rock known simply as the “hollow stone.” Beyond that lies the mystery. Printed on fragile paper that’s both old and brittle, the images have an other worldly cast, their soft blue-greens defining a minimalist mountain landscape punctuated only by scrub plants and scattered rock. There lived a reclusive chemist, Narek Grigoryan, and the woman, Aluna Urartu, who would become his lover and tragic wife. There is more poetry in Sollie’s photos than in the rambling story he weaves about them, but there’s an undercurrent of truth too in his tale of KGB interrogation, earthquakes, and dreams of ancient deities. Mary Abbe


Bockley Gallery

2123 W. 21st St.Minneapolis, MN

Date: Ended 03/15/14