A happy look-back on HAYP3.0

Our third art exhibit “The Scale of Life” finished last week, on September 7. 

After having installed and removed dozens of spotlights, hanged and unhooked the artworks, and organized 5 events over 10 days of exhibition, you might think this should now be holiday time for us… but it isn’t – the HAYP Team is on the move again!

IMG_2800

Taking down the exhibit. Credits: HAYP

Last week, after (well-deserved) celebration following the end of the exhibit, we were already on the lookout for new locations, and actively planning our next exhibition.

But before we go on and announce our upcoming project, let us first give credit where credit is due: none of our HAYP shenanigans would be possible without the help and support of so many people around us.

Thank you!

From the very beginnings of HAYP, we were lucky enough to collaborate with like-minded people who helped us pop up around Yerevan. For this exhibition in particular, we teamed up with DZOOK Pop Up Restaurant on our opening night – they provided a delicious culinary experience for our guests through a special fish tasting that was in perfect accordance with our exhibition theme inspired by water and its mythical creatures. The degustation was paired with a variety of delicious white wines, courtesy of Karas wines.

It was also amazing to work with Yerevan Residence. Irina and Nvart from reception were always helpful and smiling, occasionally even providing coffee during much needed work hours! Obviously, transforming empty penthouses into trendy art galleries is what we do, but the EL media team also took wonderful photos of our opening night, and will feature us in their bilingual “El Style” magazine this month. Exciting!

For the third time in a row, The ScREenery generously lent us their projector and hosted a film event in our space. The Luys Foundation team was kind enough to lend us dozens of chairs for the whole duration of the exhibit.

Thank you also to Green Bean, Artbridge, and Calumet for helping us sell and distribute tickets to opening night.

Artists, performers

Seven artists re-interepreted the vishap with different approaches and media – Melissa Finkenbiner, LUSKA, Félix Romanos, Moushegh Mkhitaryan, Avetik Vardanyan, Hrachya Vardanyan, and Alice Dunseath. Thank you also to ARLOOPA for generously sponsoring their programming work that added tech to LUSKA’s amazing mural. This was a definite hit at opening night, along with the electronic music performance by Joseph Zakarian, our special DJ from Amman who generously contributed to our project.

During our event week, the performers each brought a new crowd to the gallery, and helped interpret the exhibition from different perspectives – an archeology talk, an avant-garde theater performance, contemporary dance, and sound installation…

On Wednesday, Armen Martirosian gave a concise talk about pagan Armenia during the Urartean period, before engaging in a conversation with the public. He showed us the amazing artifacts he and the archeological team have been discovering at the site of Karmir Blur… and probably stirred up a few archeological vocations right then and there.

IMG_2649

Armen Martirosian’s talk. Photo credits: HAYP

On Friday, Aram Atamian presented “in her plenty”, a solo theater performance that left many spectators with their jaws floored… among other limbs, because with nearly 100 people attending, we couldn’t secure seats for everyone.

We were so awed by Aram’s poignant, witty performance that we decided to run it again the next night. This time around the vibe amongst our smaller group was more intimate, leading to a spontaneous talk-back with the performer who explained how he came up with the idea of mixing Shakespeare, gay chat-roulette and Beyoncé in one piece. 

Caution: below video has adult content.

We hosted a very special performance on Monday for our closing night. On the rooftop of the gallery, BA-AR-DIA Dance Studio (and therapy) performed a contemporary piece choreographed by Hasmik Tangyan, with a sound installation by LSD. The result was an eerie, beautiful show, with Mount Ararat and Yerevan sunset-lit roofs as a background.

We were happy to get media coverage for this event. CivilNet.am filmed the whole performance and interviewed our curator Anna K. Gargarian, along with the choreographer, Hasmik Tangyan, and the head of ICA Yerevan Nazareth Karoyan.

Our core support network – volunteers, friends, family

As we set up the exhibition and organized the events, we relied heavily on an extended network of dedicated volunteers… and our loved ones who gently got drafted for HAYP.

The amazing Liana Dashyan and Lusine Vardanyan translated our exhibition materials (wall text, wall labels, press release and social media) from English to Armenian. Anna Hakobyan, Mary Hakobyan and Nairi Khatchadourian also helped with occasional translation issues- thanks!

Our friend Lilit Markosian (one of the first HAYP artists, from the exhibtion “Frame of Mind”) created beautiful graphics for our event PR.

For photography, a warm thank you to our dear friend Karine Vann for her work on opening night. Also thanks to volunteer students Helena Grigoryan, Isaac Bulanikian, Alexandra Bejanyan, and Gugo Tadevosyan from Chantal Terzian’s art class for their assistance.

My sister Sévane Poulain filmed all of our events with her camera, and prepared a video montage of the whole exhibition. Also for filming, thank you to Areg Kozmoyan, Lucine Bekaryan and Peter Liakhov for recording Aram Atamian’s performance.

Several other friends like Garni & Arbi helped out in many ways, big or small. Carrying artworks, chairs, tables, lending electric teapots, buying us coffee, putting up the HAYP signs along the road to Yerevan Residence. For all this, thank you janiks!

Last but not least, we’d like to extend a warm-felt “thank you” to our network of fans: those who never miss an exhibition, who invite their own friends and family to join, share our projects on social media and give us great feedback.

We are also very happy that so many of you noticed the latest art addition to our gallery. It’s a contemporary art installation highlighting the neo-liberal and ecological tragedy of our times: oceans being emptied of their magical creatures (water dragons, vishaps and other goldfish) to be filled, instead, with money. Seriously, thanks for giving some love to our new homemade donation fishbowl – we greatly appreciate!

IMG_2663

Our donation fishbowl (it was full at one point!) | Credits: HAYP

Sad to say goodbye to this exhibition? You don’t have to! We’ll pop up again soon, and in the meantime, you can get a limited edition print of Luska’s mural, signed by the artist, to bring augmented reality to your home! Available in medium/large size at respectively USD 50 and USD 150. Contact us at info.hayp@gmail.com!

Anna K. Gargarian, our curator, holding a print of Luska's work. This photo was taken with the ARLOOPA app! Photo credits: HAYP

Anna K. Gargarian, our curator, holding a print of Luska’s work. This photo was taken with the ARLOOPA app! Photo credits: HAYP

Charlotte Poulain & Anna K. Gargarian

Opening Night & Thanks: ANKAPital

by Anna K. Gargarian


Today, April 24th 2015, marks the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Yerevan is gray and quiet, many of the shops and bars are closed out of solemn respect. It’s a stark energetic contrast to yesterday evening’s System of a Down (SOAD) concert that filled Republic Square with an exhilarated (albeit rainy) buzz- a celebration of life and resilience in the face of tragedy.

10997976_10153306512000559_1050076477556982755_nBut today is reserved to the memory, sacrifice and bravery of the lives lost one hundred years ago. I cannot help but feel immensely grateful on so many levels despite the sadness that inevitably accompanies this commemoration. I am happy to be here in Yerevan in this moment as an Armenian and descendent of genocide survivors. I am grateful to be a part of many interesting international commemorative projects honoring our collective memory and human rights, like the “DRAEM” installation in Copenhagen (DK) which I’ve curated with artist and architect Allen Sayegh for the Armenian Embassy to Denmark and Norway, and for the opportunity to curate the upcoming “Memory and Dreams” Armenian Pavilion at the Beijing International Art Biennale this fall thanks to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia. I am also thankful to be contributing locally to the art scene through HAYP Pop Up Gallery, a personal project I started with my dear cousin Charlotte Poulain last fall, and which has continued due to the support, love and help of many dear friends who believe in me and this project. I feel truly lucky!

***

In this moment of thanks and reflection, and exactly one week into our 10-day exhibit, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who were a part of making ANKAPital happen. I am thrilled to share with you the photos of ANKAPital’s inauguration, HAYP’s current collective exhibit that opened with a bang last Friday, April 17 and that will continue to be on view until Monday April 27th. The turnout was incredible and the exhibit looked great (which seemed highly unlikely 48 hours earlier). Over 500 people attended the event throughout the course of the evening, thanks to our social media following and our central location that attracted a lot of foot-traffic.

ANKAPital_panorama

The exhibit features a group of 15 contemporary artists from Italy, Argentina, France and Armenia and the artworks include painting, installation, photography and video art. Opening Night also featured a live musical performance by Heavy Shepherd, an experimental punk-folk-blues-digital-hip-hop ensemble that totally rocked ANKAPital. Special thanks have to be given to our sponsors Golden Grape ArmAs for providing us with our Pop Up location and wine for opening night. Other gracious sponsorship included: Crumbs Bread Factory for catering, Orange France for Internet connection, AYB School and THE SCreENERY for projectors, and the LUYS foundation for chairs and a media team.

heavy shepherd

Heavy Shepherd, a three-man ensemble with Saro Arshag, Devon Yagian-Boutelle, and Shant Kerbabian, performed at HAYP’s opening along with projection art by Saro Arshag.

Our guests included a predominantly young crowd including many local artists, hipsters (what kind of art gallery opening would this be without them?) and socialites. Some important diplomatic officials, entrepreneurs and international organizational heads were also spotted at HAYP. And of course, a huge number of friends and supporters of HAYP Pop Up Gallery were present, many of whom lent a helping hand during the clean-up and prep work of the space.

On that note….Thank You!

ANKAPital could not have happened without the support of so many people. A huge thank you to HAYP team members Rachel Nersesian for coordinating all of the events, to Lilit Markosian for the social media and graphic design, and to Sonya Armaghanyan for assisting in administrative help and for bringing theater to HAYP through EVN 24 Hour Theater. Thank you also to Karine Vann for her journalistic support, as well as the networking and collaborative opportunities that she has brought to HAYP.

We’ve also had many volunteers who’ve lent a physical hand in cleaning up the space, thank you to Robin Kuehn and Caden Nathan James for helping despite not knowing much about HAYP at the time! Thank you to Khashayar Zandyavari and Seda Orbelian for your assistance during events. An enormous special thanks to Mehdi Moqimi who has been a constant and reliable anchor throughout the entire process- from transforming the space, to providing much-needed caffeine, to overseeing technical assistance for our projections. A huge thank you also to Hermine Sarkissian, a dear friend, my flat-mate, and a great supporter of HAYP who has bared with my neurosis, mess and sleepless nights these past three weeks: her calm presence and patience has been a silent source of strength for me. Another big thank you to the whole ArmAs team, including Manushak and Hagop, and in particular to Victoria Aslanian and Armen Aslanian for providing us with a very talented and efficient construction crew to set up lights and walls where needed. Thank you to our neighbors at Megerian Carpets for providing us with a restroom and sink when needed (alas, the pop up life is one without a WC!). A huge thank you to all of the artists for being a part of this project: thank you to Janine Gaelle for putting me in touch with artist Noumeda Carbone, and thank you to Noumeda for coming here all the way from Florence, to RIZEK for sending his custom work from abroad, and to local artists Asya Yaghmurian, Davit Galstyan, and Vahram Akimyan for helping to install the exhibit. Other amazing artists in show include: Samvel Saghatelian, Artak Gevorgyan, NavereY, Nairi Khatchadourian, Lucy Kirakosyan, Florencia Babouian, Shamiram Khachatryan, Ruben Malayan, Adrineh Gregorian and Serge Navasardyan.

Thank you to everyone!

Now here are the pictures:

 

by Anna K. Gargarian