Hrair Sarkissian at The Photographers' Gallery/Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024

Last Seen and Deathscape

The Photographer’s Gallery are exhibiting the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024 shortlist, international artists include, Valie Export, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, Lebohang Kganye and Hrair Sarkissian.

The power of photography exploring, examining and questioning the world.


Last Seen (2018-2021) by Hrair Sarkissian at The Photographer’s Gallery/the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024


Last Seen (2018-2021) by Hrair Sarkissian is a series of photographs that capture the space or place where people who have disappeared due to war, were last seen at, by their families and loved ones. 

Photographs taken in Argentina, Brazil, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Lebanon, are powerful, silence and stillness embody each image, all whilst speaking loudly in emotion, in compassion, in memory.  Each interior, doorway, object, furniture, space, have absorbed the lives lost, with the language of Sarkissian’s sensitive and compelling photography rendering the missing, visible and felt.

Through Sarkissian’s photographs, the lives of the disappeared live on, beyond their loved ones and families. They were there, they existed, history cannot erase them and war has not destroyed their legacies. The empty spaces Sarkissian captures are not empty they are filled with a history, a missing person’s life. It’s hard to think about what the disappeared people, the families have gone through, but so vital and important to document, to leave a photograph for the world to always remember, each life, each war, and never forget each name. And with that, each photograph’s frame is embossed with each missing person’s name and the year they disappeared. 

Hrair Sarkissian’s work is the essence of humanity, his photography, the spaces and stories will travel, like sound with every viewer of the exhibition. 

And its through sound that Hrair Sarkissian’s first sound installation Deathscape (2021) 
transmits the work of forensic archaeologists as they excavate mass graves in Spain that retain the bodies of those executed by the authoritarian Franco-regime, with thousands and thousands of men and women who had disappeared during the regime from the start of the Spanish Civil War until Franco’s death in 1975. 

Hrair Sarkissian's photography is thoughtful and profound, the images and sound installation are important to the history of art, to documentation and also to the now, to the concept of justice, to remembering, to our collective memory and most importantly to the memory and hope for the innocent lives caught in wars. They are not forgotten and they live on. 










Exhibition runs through until Sunday 2nd June:

About Hrair Sarkissian: