Aaaaand we’re back

by Charlotte Poulain


As you may have noticed, HAYP hasn’t been popping up all that often in 2016. Our first project this year (and biggest to date) was Lips of Pride, a collective exhibit focused on women’s sexuality and societal perceptions of shame in Armenia. We haven’t been idle since: we organized an aerial dancing performance by Marcela Perez at 44 SkyBar in June, as well as a full day workshop with HARTAK festival on how to test your business idea with a pop up.

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At the same time, we’ve been working on several projects that will come to life this fall and next spring. Anna’s also been invited to talk about art and entrepreneurship at AIWA’s 25th anniversary conference in Boston this September (‘cause she’s fabulous). Bostonians may even expect to see a pop up in their neighborhood for the occasion (more details coming soon).

…And now the awesome news is: HAYP Pop Up Gallery is back this summer with a major event this Friday! (Facebook event here)

This time around, we’re working in collaboration with the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA). For those of you who don’t know it yet, the ICA is a Yerevan-based institution that offers art classes, hosts artists in residence, and curates exhibitions. Their venue on Fizkulturnikner street recently underwent renovation, so their Director and Curator Nazareth Karoyan decided a mural was in order, and they commissioned Yerevan-born artist Samvel Saghatelian for the job.

Back in November, we had worked with Samvel to curate a solo exhibit in the secret back room of a vape shop called Misty Fumes. The exhibition was titled “Enter Through the Smoke Shop” and presented Samvel’s “PolitIcal and Personal Protest signs”, a series of graphic sign boards playing with Latin and Armenian letters. Perhaps the most iconic of these works was “LOVE is electric Է”, created by the artist in June 2015 at the time of the Electric Yerevan protest.

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The mural at the ICA is a scaled-up elaboration on that work. Just as this year’s protests have grown in intensity, Samvel Saghatelian’s demand for love has multiplied in scale from hand-held sign board to the entire building facade. Because it deserves to be inaugurated in style, HAYP Pop Up Gallery and the ICA have joined forces to curate the second edition of Samvel Saghatelian’s “Political and Personal Protest Signs”. If you didn’t get to see his works in November for HAYP 5.0, now’s your chance!

Join us for LOVE ICA – is electrIC Again”, the mural’s public inauguration and a HAYP exhibition opening on Friday, August 26 at 7PM, at the ICA (Facebook event here). Wine and music can be enjoyed in the ICA’s garden, and in front of Samvel’s larger than life artwork. Don’t miss out!

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LOCATION:
48 Fizkulturnikner Street (at the end of 5th st in Aygestan district of Yerevan behind Alek Manukyan st).

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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