“Tbilisi” Impressions by Laure Raffy

Photos and text by Laure Raffy
Translation by Anna Gargarian

Original text in French language below English text.


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A four day trip for the HAYP Pop Up team to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Objective: to feel the city’s pulse and feed our plans to establish a permanent gallery space in Yerevan in the upcoming months. An opportunity to meet key players and to weave the initial threads of partnership with a neighboring country, as we begin to envision future collaborations.

Ambling through a city full of stories, historic buildings, and wonders to discover veiled behind urban facades, we take in (on the fly) inspiration, ideas, and lots of images.

A meeting with Tamara Janashia leads us to many others: gallerists, printers, artists.
The Nectar Gallery, perched on a small hill, reveals the colossal work of Elene Chantladze that combines writing, drawing, collage, and painting on stone; a lifetime’s work that offers a narrative about intimate space and important moments.

Time to catch our breath and grab a coffee on the terrace of Stamba Hotel, former printing house renovated into hotel complex. An industrial space that highlights the gears and mechanisms of the machines it once housed. It is here that we meet Irina Popiashvili before she invites us to a private space where she collects the works of several artists; a creative incubator where she nurtures artists with a graceful rigor. She brings us to the department of Visual Art, Architecture and Design at the Free University of Tbilisi, where Irina is the Dean. A precious moment that invites us into discover creative studios, filled with ideas and treasures in the making. The chance to meet students, inspired and inspiring, impressive in their tenacity and strength, confronting materials as massive and rigid as wood and steel .. We (re)encounter some of them on Saturday night in an apartment atop the city’s outskirts; an intimate space that is home to an exhibition curated by the students themselves.

On this short trip we have the privilege of meeting artist Tamuna Chabashvili, who mainly uses textile as “final object” in an engaging work that brings together tedious research, investigation, and careful collecting of stories. Along the way, we discover the underground Patara art gallery, which urges us to explore the border between private and public space, and the importance of introducing art within the lived urban environment. A visit to the Window Project gallery reveals bold scenographic display, an intervention by a contemporary artist/designer that took inspiration from the exhibition’s focus: the art works of the late Vakhtang Kokiashvi.

Planning to develop a future print department, HAYP can’t miss out on a visit to Cezanne printing house, highly recommended for the quality of its catalogs and artist books. An encounter that revealed (or confirmed) the vast range of possibilities for book formats, textures, and binding methods … revealing, yet again, that the book serves as both archive and extension of an art work, an artifact in its own right.

Four days of meetings, a perpetual dialogue between the historic and contemporary, industrial and artisanal, massive and undeniably refined. Sprinkled with impressions, scribbled papers, porcelains, and found objects along the unbeaten path.

And so, more to come….


original text:

Déplacement de l’équipe de HAYP Pop Up dans la capitale Georgienne, Tbilisi. Ce, afin d’en prendre le poul et alimenter encore le projet de galerie physique et permanente qui prendra place à Yerevan, dans les prochains mois. L’occasion de rencontrer des acteurs, tisser une première toile de partenaires dans un pays voisin et imaginer de possibles collaborations.

Un détour dans une ville emplie d’histoire(s), d’édifices historiques, de merveilles à découvrir au verso des façades. Un moment permettant d’attraper en vol, inspirations, idées, et beaucoup d’images.

Une rencontre avec Tamara Janashia nous mène vers bien d’autres : galeristes, imprimeurs, artistes. La Galerie Nectar perchée sur une petite colline dévoile le travail colossal d’ Elene Chantladze, mêlant écriture, dessins, collages, peintures sur roches. Oeuvre d’une vie proposant une lecture de l’espace intime et de certains faits marquants. Le temps de reprendre son souffle et commander un café sur la terrasse du Stamba Hotel, ancienne imprimerie réhabilitée en complexe hôtelier. Un espace industriel où sont aujourd’hui sublimés, les rouages et mécaniques des anciennes machines.
C’est ici que l’on rencontre Irina Popiashvili avant qu’elle nous conduise dans un espace où elle conserve plusieurs travaux d’artistes. Une pépinière de créateurs qu’elle soutient avec force et velour. Cette visite nous mène à l’école d’Arts visuels et d’architecture dont Irina est la doyenne. Moment précieux nous permettant de découvrir quelques ateliers emplis d’idées et de trésors en devenir. L’occasion de rencontrer des étudiants, inspirés et inspirants, impressionnants par leur tenacité et leur force, faisant face, à des matériaux aussi massifs et rigides que le bois et l’acier.. On en (re)découvre certains d’entre-eux, le samedi soir, dans cet appartement, planté sur les hauteur de la ville. Espace intimiste, abritant une exposition commissariée par les étudiants eux même.
S’offre durant ces quelques jours, le privilège de rencontrer l’artiste Tamuna Chabashvili, qui utilise principalement le textile comme « objet final » d’un travail engagé, fastidieux de recherches, d’enquêtes, de collecte d’histoires. Sur notre passage, on découvre l’espace galerie souterrain Patara qui nous interroge encore sur la lisière entre espace privé et public et l’intérêt d’introduire l’art où les individus circulent. Nous visitions la galerie Window Project mêlant des choix scénographiques audacieux et l’intervention d’artistes/designers sur les œuvres d’un créateur initial, aujourd’hui disparu, Vakhtang Kokiashvi.

Dans son souhait de développer un volet « publication », HAYP se doit un passage à l’imprimerie Cezanne, recommandée pour la qualité d’impression de catalogues et livres d’artistes. Un moment révélant (ou confirmant) le large panel de possibilités en termes de format, texture, mode de reliure… Une visite révélant de nouveau que si le livre peut accompagner l’oeuvre, il peut aussi se penser comme « objet d’art », à part entière.

4 jours et un mélange de rencontres, un perpétuel dialogue entre historique et contemporain, industriel et artisanal, massif et indéniablement fin. Parsemés de notes, de papiers griffonnés, de porcelaines, d’objet chinés au fil des marches.

A suivre, donc.

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

HAYP 2.0: Call To Artists!

ANKAPital_call_to_artistsներքո տրված է Հայերեն լեզվով

CALL TO ARTISTS!

HAYP Pop Up Gallery presents,

“ANKAPital” a Collective Exhibit

April 2015, Yerevan AM

Application deadline: March 30, 2015

Send to: info.hayp@gmail.com

Here it is guys, our “Call to artists” for HAYP Pop Up Gallery’s next exhibition, “ANKAPital” on view in Yerevan in April, 2015. Specific dates and location still to-be-determined, so stay tuned!

 Below you’ll find the exhibition concept in both English and Armenian for your convenience, but here’s a quick summary of the exhibition theme.

ANKAPital in a nutshell:

For HAYP Pop Up Gallery’s second project, we will be featuring a collective exhibition in mixed media with an urban feel and a focus on graphic arts: Street Art, Illustration, Video/Projection, installation and Painting will be the principal media. ANKAPital asks artists to pay attention to the “awkwardness” of their surroundings. What about your contemporary culture seems ironic, contradictory, or even out of place to you? All of the exhibiting artists share a highly contemporary, young, and bold voice. The selected works will be statement pieces: political, provocative, erotic, and/or simply funny- this is not a passive exhibit. This is a declaration of vitality that embraces the adventurous. The works are here, now, and they call for your attention! The urban style of the exhibit, in both the selection and the display of the works, intends to highlight the dynamic, creative, and innovative buzz that is typical of large metropolis and that is the backdrop for united disunity!

 


 Կոչ արվեստագետներին՝

«ANKAPital» համատեղ ցուցահանդես

Անցկացման ժամանակահատվածը` 2015 թ. ապրիլ

Վայրը` կհայտարարենքԱրվեստագետի դիմում՝ մինչև մարտի 30,2015

Ուղարկե՛ք բոլոր դիմումները info.hayp@gmail.com

 

Ձեզ համար: մեր “Կոչ արվեստագետներին՝” ՀԱԻՓ-ի հաջորդ ցուցահանդեսի անվանումն է “ԱՆԿԱՊիտալ”, կ՛ներկայացվի 2015 Ապրիլին. Վայրը` և օրը կհայտարարենք, խնդրում ենք հետևել.

Ձեր հարմարության համար, ներքո տրված է տեղեկություն ցուցահանդեսի մասին Անգլերեն և Հայերեն լեզուներով: Տրված է նաեվ ցուցահանդեսի համառոտ թեմատիկան:

 

ANKAPital համառոտ թեմատիկան

«HAYP» ժամանակակից արվեստի շրջիկ պատկերասրահի երկրորդ նախագծի շրջանակում մենք պատրաստվում ենք ներկայացնել տարբեր մեդիաների կիրառմամբ համատեղ ցուցահանդես` ուրբանիստական ոճով ու գրաֆիկական արվեստի շեշտադրումով: Ներկայացված հիմնական մեդիաներից կլինեն սթրիթ արթը (փողոցային արվեստ), պատկերազարդումը, վիդեո-ցուցադրությունը և նկարչությունը: Կազմակերպվող այս նոր ցուցահանդեսի ընթացքում «HAYP»ը խնդրում է արվեստագետներին ուշադրություն դարձնել իրենց շրջակա միջավայրի «անշուքությանը»: Իսկ ի՞նչ կլինի, եթե ժամանակակից մշակույթը ձեզ հեգնական, հակասական և անգամ անհարկի թվա:

Ցուցահանդեսին մասնակցող բոլոր արվեստագետները շատ ժամանակակից, երիտասարդ ու համարձակ ձեռագիր ունեն: Ընտրված աշխատանքները յուրատեսակ հայտարարություններ են լինելու` քաղաքական, սադրիչ, էրոտիկ և/կամ պարզապէս ծիծաղաշարժ. սա պասիվ ցուցահանդես չէ: Սա կենսունակության կոչ է, որը գրավում է արկածախնդիրներին: Աշխատանքները հիմա այստեղ են ու Ձեր ուշադրությունն են հայցում:

Ներկայացվող աշխատանքների ընտրության և ցուցադրության հարցում ուղենիշ հանդիսացած ուրբանիստական ոճը նպատակ ունի ընդգծելու մեծ քաղաքներին բնորոշ դինամիկ, ստեղծագործական ու նորարարական իրարանցումը` միասնական պառակտման այս ֆոնին:


DOWNLOADS:

English:  ANKAPital_Call_to_artists_eng

Հայերեն: ANKAPital_կոչ_արվեստագետներին_հայերեն

 


 

HAYP Event Week December 17-21

We have an exciting line up of events ready for you this week at HAYP Pop Up Gallery! Here’s a little info on what we have in store for you:

Dec 17 @ 6:30pm. Film Screening: “Ai Weiwei – Never Sorry”

We begin on Wednesday, December 17th with a film screening at 6:30pm of Alison Klayman’s documentary “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” (2012). Ai Weiwei is a controversial Chinese artist and activist. The documentary follows him as he prepares for a series of exhibitions and runs into an increasing number of clashes with the Chinese government.

aiweiwei_970x390

 

Dec 19 @ 7:30pm. Artist Tour (Registration required)

On Friday, December 19th we have a private tour of the exhibition lead by the artists themselves. We will discuss the theme of the exhibition, and artists will give the group an insight into their background and the story behind their works. Limited spaces available. Sign up here!

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Dec 21 @ 8:30pm. Closing Event: Art Talk & Live Music

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Finally, we close our exhibition with a Finissage event on Sunday, December 21st. We will host an Art Talk at 8:30 where three speakers – Aramazt Kalayjian, Patricio Derkrikorian and Lesley Diaz- who will discuss their projects in progress.

Aramazt, Graphic Designer and Co-founder of Jarakite Creative Studio is also a featured artist in “Frame of Mind: Context & Perspective” on view at HAYP Pop Up Gallery. Aramazt lived, worked, and researched for one year in Ethiopia, connecting with the local music community and filming for his documentary on the history of music between Armenia and Ethiopia. He will share his project with us.

Patricio is Armenian from Argentina, and is a curator with a background in contemporary art and architecture currently working at the Naregatsi Art Institute in Yerevan. Patricio will discuss the exhibition he is currently working on and a future project that he hopes will link the vibrant artistic community in Argentina with Yerevan’s contemporary art scene.

Lesley Diaz is originally from Texas, and has been living in Yerevan for five years now. Besides teaching English and completing her PhD in Armenia, Lesley volunteers for The SCreENERY, a volunteer organization that she holds dear to her heart. She’ll tell you better herself, but in a nut shell, The SCreENERY shows movies for free in public places throughout Yerevan, particularly in the outer districts surrounding the center in order to bring the big screen to those who don’t always have access to the cinema.

Find out more about these exciting projects on Sunday at 8:30pm, followed by some live music from 9:30-11pm by instrumental duo, Tigrane Kazazian (oud) and Hagop Mazloumian (percussion). Beer and wine will be available at a reasonable price.HAYP_Event_Week

 

“Frame of Mind” opening night: the photos!

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On Friday, December 12, HAYP’s first exhibition “Frame of Mind: Context & Perspective” opened. Throughout the night, around 200 people showed up to enjoy the art pieces and fine wine, courtesy of Golden Grape ArmAs.

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 Our wine corner
Photo Credit: Kohar Minassian

 

Our photographer Kohar Minassian was able to snap a few pictures before the arrival of the guests at 6PM.


DSC_0297From left to right: works by Lilit Markosian, Sharis Garabedian, David Galstyan
Photo Credit: Kohar Minassian

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From left to right: works by Ararat Minasyan and Lilit Umedyan, Peno Mishoyan, Aramazt Kalayjian, and Karen Mirzoyan 
Photo Credit: Kohar Minassian

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Photo Credit: Kohar Minassian


DSC_0324On the left, our interactive art piece dedicated to our donors, courtesy of Cyber Development Studio, and to the right, “E215” Film short by Scott Willis. Projector sponsored to us by The ScREenery!
Photo Credit: Kohar Minassian

 

 

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Guests standing admiring the HAYP board
Photo Credit: Kohar Minassian

 

A black board served as our “Guest book” for the night, and many took on the colorful chalks to draw pictures or write messages. Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) lent us their photo printer, and our friend Rachel took pictures of guests all night so they could pin it on our board.

 

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Our interactive “HAYP Board” throughout the night
Photo Credit: Kohar Minassian and Raffi Ouzounian

Behind the Scenes – Video making-of!

By Charlotte Poulain


Did you know… That crowdfunding projects with videos are 85% more likely to reach their funding goals than those without? This recent research conducted on over 7,000 Kickstarter projects speaks millions about the importance of showing people what you’re about, rather than just telling them.

In a world where anything above 140 characters is considered too long, we tend to skim through texts and hop from one tab to another without really reading. Actually, you probably won’t make it to the end of this article without checking your phone, email or social media feeds – so I’ll get straight to the point. We were about to start a crowdfunding campaign, and we obviously wanted to reach our funding goal; we needed a video. It’s all about bettering the odds!

Our expertise in video-making being limited to holiday souvenirs, Anna and I started scouting for a good film maker who could help us make an awesome presentation video. After all, a terrible video would probably do much more damage to our campaign than having no video at all.

 

Yerevan is our oyster

One of the many great things about Yerevan is what a small world it can be.

I arrived in Armenia one week before my 23rd birthday, and organized a small gathering in a bar with just six people – which was, at that time, the extent of my network in Yerevan. My friend Shaunt, whom I had just met at a wedding, introduced me to a girl named Kohar, whom he had just met on the plane. I bumped into her a few times after that, and subsequently learned that Kohar Minassian was a film director currently volunteering in Armenia through Birthright.

Anna and I met with Kohar over lunch mid-October and she accepted to shoot our presentation video. We exchanged ideas on what the final result should look like: a short video (under 2 minutes) with Anna and I presenting HAYP’s objectives to the camera in an unfinished place. We also wanted to show some art-making, and had a light bulb moment when we decided to make our logo… real size, as a big red room separator.

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Our story board, designed by Anna Gargarian

 

 

Tumo Center for New Technologies agreed to let us use their top floor, currently under construction, for the video shooting. Now, those of you living in Yerevan certainly know about Tumo already. For those who don’t, Tumo is a non-profit venture that offers teenagers after-school education in various areas such as design, photography, digital art, video game design or robotics, all free of charge. They organize events like artist talks, concerts and big conferences such as TEDx Yerevan. Tumo’s building is also host to a number of amazing technology and media companies like Picsart.

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Photo credits: Tumo Center for Creative Technologies

The building is impressive from the outside, located on Tumanyan park, on a smooth hill watching over Yerevan. From the inside it is… amazing. Huge, transparent, flexible. As Anna puts it: “this is what I would expect Google to look like”.

Needless to say, when Tumo agreed to let us film in there, we were hyped up already… And then we discovered their amazing last floor: an unfinished space, large windows all around, and a 360 degree view of Yerevan, including Mount Ararat.

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Photo credits: Charlotte Poulain

 

Lasagna, crafts and wood panels

 

Our video was not expensive to make. Basically what we needed was material to make our HAYP logo, aka wood, nails, red paint and brushes.

The day before shooting, we had a big HAYP gathering at my house over lasagna (having lived two years in Italy, Anna is kind of our Pasta-Master here). All of our extended HAYP network was there to discuss the next day’s shooting and ideas for upcoming exhibitions and articles… and help us stir red paint.

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Photo credits: Charlotte Poulain

 

Next morning Anna and I set out to do some wood shopping on Vardanants street. Do you know how to say wood panel in Armenian? We certainly do now!

 

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The most challenging part was transporting those 2 meter-high wood panels to our apartment, fasten them together with hinges, and then lug them all the way to Tumo Center, which is located a bit outside Yerevan.

***

Upon arrival, we met with Kohar and the three of us inspected the last floor of the Tumo center to find the best shooting spot in terms of light and background noise. We re-arranged the chairs and the camera a few dozen times, put on our sound equipment lent by Tumo, and did our first take.

We had prepared our script the night before, and really focused on explaining the aim of a pop up gallery and why we wanted to do it in Yerevan.

The sun slowly went down, and as we shot what seemed to me the 100th take, we became increasingly stressed out and forgetful. We had a few good laughs, but as Oscar arrived, we decided it was time to give the talking a rest and start the fun part: painting!

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Photo credits : Oscar Alvarado and Kohar Minassian

 

Kohar worked hard on editing the video ; “I’ll make you look good, don’t worry”, she said. I was still anxious when I opened the first draft : nobody likes to see themselves on camera, do they? But there was no denying our message came across – and I loved the way the painting sequences were mixed with us talking. I could hear my French accent clearer than ever though.

…All of the HAYP team was very excited about the final result:

 

 

HAYPing it up on Youtube

We uploaded our video on Monday, November 24 and proceeded to share the link to everyone. I also spent some time uploading subtitles in Armenian, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic.

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“Check out the hype” was pretty difficult to translate.


Oh, and our dear wooden logo was not discarded: it is carefully wrapped up and waiting on Anna’s balcony to pop up at our next exhibition.

C.

PS: It’s the last 10 days of our Crowdfunding campaign!

We launched our crowdfunding campaign!

by Charlotte Poulain


 

What a weekend…. Our Crowdfunding campaign went public on monday, at 3PM Yerevan-time. At midnight that day, we had already raised $955…

[Edit 26/11] AND TODAY… WE ARE 45% FUNDED.

But to reach our goal, we will need your help! So please check and share our campaign, have a look at our video, donate and choose your perk 🙂

Where? On the world’s most used (and loved) crowdfunding platform:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hayp-pop-up-gallery !

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Our campaign page… Despite the play button in the middle of my face, we think it looks pretty good 🙂

 

This campaign will allow us to buy equipment for not only our first exhibit but also those to come, and will help us organize our Premiere Exhibition-Event that will help us attract sponsorship for sustainability. Setting up our Pop Up Gallery will require $3,500, and we have 17 days to reach our goal. Our first exhibition “Frame of mind: Context and Perspective” will pop up on the 12th of December… So the countdown begins!

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Photo credit: Lilit Markosian made this banner for our facebook page. Cheers Lilit!

 ***

Behind the scenes

The 24 hours that preceded the launch were dedicated to writing and re-writing material for our Indiegogo page and our social media, including uploading pictures and videos, sorting out the Armenian bank account and… occasionally freaking out.

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We were at this table for almost 24 hours straight, we may or may not have showered in 2 days.

 

We spent the next 10 hours telling everyone we know about the launch, preparing the follow-up, and translating and uploading subtitles for our presentation video.

We are planning on going global, and we are lucky enough to have a few polyglots on our team and network, so you can now watch the video with subtitles in English, in Armenian (big thanks to Lusine Vardanyan and Mary Hakobyan), in Russian (cheers to Natasha Sekratereva), in French (thanks to yours truly), in Italian (brava Anna), Spanish (viva Oscar), and possibly even Japanese and Portuguese will be coming soon as well.

HAYP knows no language barrier, and our Pop Up will have no frontier.

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 Photo credit: I guess I could credit myself for those perfect screenshots, but really the video was shot and edited by the amazing Kohar Minassian, at the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies.

 ***

What’s next?

We continue rollin’ as we do: this week we are planning meetings with artists, partners and potential funders. We’ll continue working on our first exhibition, and spreading the word about HAYP in general.

***

How can you help?

… Did I tell you about the crowdfunding campaign already? You can donate here and now : https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hayp-pop-up-gallery

You can also share the campaign or this article with your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues, your life partners.. and also with people you don’t like that much… we’re not really picky. Everyone can make a contribution, even starting with $1 !!

Thanks for reading!

Charlotte