I once read a quotation attributed to a colleague of the Italian artist, Alberto Giacometti: "If he were to make a portrait of you, he'd make your face look like a razorblade." Unfortunately, I have not been able to find such quotation again, and I'm starting to believe that I dreamt it. Nonetheless, the image stands.
Giacometti's Razor, for solo violin, takes an imagined view of Giacometti's working methods as its starting point, particularly those employed in the creation of the emaciated bronze figures that were central to his output from the late 1940s until his death. Removing material ad absurdum to make the casts, and continuing to work long after any other artist would have considered the sculpture finished. The resulting pieces begin to lose some of their definition as individual artworks, yet they acquire a uniquely brittle waspishness that only a ruthless attitude to one's material can achieve.
Giacometti's Razor (2009, rev. 2014)
Duration: 7 Minutes
Instrumentation: Solo Violin
World Première: 17th February 2014; St Paul's Hall, Huddersfield. Ashot Sarkissjan
US Première: 26th February 2018; Commonwealth Avenue Concert Hall, Boston, MA. Ashot Sarkissjan
German Première: 6th June 2019; Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia, Bamberg. Ashot Sarkissjan