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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53212
Doc. No:TL23166
Call number:‭3384044‬
Main Entry:Jean Louise Murachanian
Title & Author:Leon Tutundjian: Trauma, identity and modern art in the aftermath of genocideJean Louise Murachanian
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:254
Abstract:This dissertation, "Léon Tutundjian: Trauma, Identity, and Modern Art in the Aftermath of Genocide," explores the artistic output of an Armenian Genocide survivor in twentieth-century Paris. Looking through the lens of trauma theory, I argue that the oeuvre of Léon (Levon) Tutundjian (1905-1968) reveals the effects of trauma, most probably from his experience of the 1915 Genocide in Turkey, which caused a splintering in his sense of self and identity. My work begins with an intense investigation of Tutundjian's images, and incorporates theoretical applications, comparative case studies, and biographical information I obtained through personal interviews in Paris. My theoretical approach is informed by Freudian theories of trauma and the contemporary work of Judith Herman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Harvard University Medical School. My work contributes to art historical scholarship in three main arenas: the application of trauma theory to visual art, the examination of the Armenian immigrant experience in twentieth-century Paris, and the expansion of our understanding of mainstream modern European art. In Chapter One I utilize Freud's theory of repetition to examine Tutundjian's repression of an event he cannot face, as evidenced by the recurrence of what I consider to be his self-portraits. I suggest that the composition of his self-portraits--severed, doubled, and otherworldly--convey a self that is fractured and disconnected. Herman's work provides insight into the effects of trauma on the psyche, which manifests as a splintering of the self and is readily apparent in the self-portraits. In Chapter Two I investigate how this fracturing in his sense of self resulted in fluctuations in identity, as seen in his life and visual symbolism. I look at contradictions within his sense of ethnic identity and how his association with the Freemason Brotherhood reveals his desire to find a secular community far removed from the pain of his past as a Christian Armenian. In Chapter Three I posit that Tutundjian's seeming fascination with the inherent life forms found in biomorphism suggest that while he may have had an inner will to survive, he may have also harbored feelings of guilt, a hardship common among survivors.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Modern art; Biomorphism; Truma theory; Surrealism; Armenian genocide; European modern art; Trauma; Identity; Tutundjian, Leon; Art history; 0377:Art history
Added Entry:C. V. Black
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles