Book Arts is a multi-faceted project through the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol that undertakes research projects, regularly publishes articles and essays, and curates exhibitions and public lectures to “promote the study of book arts nationally and internationally…” and to “widen critical discourse within the book arts field”.
Last Sunday, July 3rd, people flooded (pun intended) the streets of Yerevan with buckets, water-guns, water balloons, and other “water artillery” in-hand, ready to splash passersby for Vardavar. Vardavar is an Armenian holiday that stems from pagan origins, originally celebrating fertility, good crops, and the goddess Astghik. Today, it’s just an excuse to shower strangers with water and playfully cool off from Armenia’s powerful heat. It gets intense, and there’s definitely a lot of unfair play that borders on being dangerous, like people getting thrown into the not-so-deep swan lake (sounds like fun – until you break a limb). You either love it or hate it, and for the haters…it’s recommended to stay indoors.
For the first time, Armenia’s beloved TUMO Center for Creative Technologies organized a Vardavar event on its surrounding grounds. TUMO’s park and fountains were transformed into a one-day water park for kids and adults alike to celebrate Vardavar with a creative edge. The event theme: a Vardavar GIF day. TUMO invited several companies and organizations to design and set-up their individual game-stands that would engage participants. Each stand was also handed a waterproof iPad so that they could document the action with a GIF. Impact Hub had a large water slide, DEEM communications had an old-school car wash etc.
HAYP was also invited to participate, and we contacted artist and architect Sona Manukyan to collaborate on a potential water-themed installation piece. We designed several proposals, but in the end, time and funding were too short to carry out the project as we saw fit. Regardless, we spent a lot of time putting together some ideas, and we thought we’d share with you our renders and concepts. The area we selected was the TUMO cement bus stop at the park entrance. Here are the ideas we came up with.
IDEA 1: The cloud
Render of the bus stop with a hovering cloud installation:
This installation had several sources of inspiration. While thinking of water and its cleansing properties, we thought of a work that would send a powerful and positive message concerning the environment. We thought of the transformative properties of water, and also the dire state of pollution in Armenia. The result: a hovering white form within the bus stop frame that from afar would look like a cloud, and from up close, would reveal hundreds of suspended individual objects. On one side, we envisioned droplet-like shapes that would hang from transparent fishing-line string. The materials of these shapes would be white plastic bags, metallic cans, and other white, translucent and/or reflective reusable materials. On the other side, a series of suspended crystals would capture the surrounding light and give the illusion of rainfall or water droplets.
Conceptually, the cloud shows a transformation of “trash” into crystals, in other words the potential for positive change as well as a subtle reference to the economic potential of a green economy. From an experiential perspective, some of the hanging items would be white water balloons, and we hoped that people would play beneath the cloud and pop some balloons.
Some examples of inspiring crystal installations:
IDEA 2: The Blue Maze
This installation idea utilizes the same location, but features a series of zig-zagging twisted blue sheets of cloth that would connect one side of the bus stop to the other. From a distance, the colorful labyrinth of blue, turquoise, and white cloth intertwined intends to give the illusion of a splashing waterfall or misty haze.
From an experiential perspective, the maze was intended to be a game in which kids could climb through and over the cloth. The type of material that we were going to select would have been spongy and absorbent, so that as the structure would get wet from the surrounding fun and games, the sculpture itself would begin to drip as an extra effect.
In the end, our collaboration was postponed for technical reasons that were mentioned earlier. HAYP is all about having fun, but also while maintaining our mission for supporting and encouraging contemporary art and artists. We simply felt that with the amount of time we had to plan and build, we wouldn’t be able to uphold our standard for quality product and work. Regardless, TUMO Vardavar was a successful day of fun and games for kids and families who enjoyed a new twist off of a long-standing local tradition.
Happy summer everyone! Wondering what’s in the works for HAYP these next few months? Here’s a little insight into our upcoming plans.
What’s the news with FLOW?
First off, you may have heard of or been wondering about our plans for FLOW, a summer festival for which we have been contacting artists, potential partners and funders for the past year. The project is large-scale and involves several international visual artists, and many international musical performers. The public interest and appeal is there, but the challenges lie in other expected (and unexpected) areas. A primary concern for us is everyone’s safety, especially considering the location’s proximity to the NK border. Due to recent political unrest at the borders, both the HAYP team and some of our sponsors have decided that August 2016 is not an optimal moment. For now the project is temporarily on hold. This news is both disappointing and also a blessing in disguise, as we think more time will give us the opportunity for better results.
That said, we have other exciting projects in stock. Here’s the line-up:
June 23: A Pop-Up Performance
Coming soon is an Aerial Dance Performance by Armenian-Argentinian dancer Marcela Perez. You may remember seeing Marcela perform at HAYP back in April 2015 at ANKAPital. Marcela is back from Buenos Aires and HAYP seized the opportunity to collaborate once again. What’s new this time around? We are adding some major height to her act. Marcela will be suspended from above for her aerial choreography, but this time we get to experience her whimsical movements on the rooftop lounge at Opera Suite Hotel.
The bar is called Forty-Four Sky, and cocktails, food, and hookah are available alongside a spectacular view of Yerevan. Don’t miss out on this one-time special event. There will be a showing on Thursday, June 23rd at 8:30pm and 9:30pm. DJ set to follow.
June 25: HAYP Workshop for HARTAK FESTIVAL
The second event happening in June is a Pop Up Workshop organized in the framework of the Hartak Festival organized by AEON anti-café. The workshop goal is to guide participants on how to make their ideas happen. This 3-hour workshop will involve a short presentation by HAYP, and especially hands-on work by workshop members. We’ll go over how to thoroughly develop a concept through market research and public feedback, how to seek out partnerships, locations, sponsors and more. We will share our experience and know-how on how to transform an idea into a reality. Join us with an idea, enthusiasm, and ready-to-work energy! More info and sign up available on the Hartak Festival website here. We are waiting for you!
July 3: HAYP for TUMO on VARDAVAR
HAYP Pop Up Gallery is going to join the Tumo team to celebrate Vardavar 2016, happening this year on July 3rd. HAYP will be among the various collaborators invited to participate at a day full of events, installations and fun in the major park surrounding TUMO center. We will curate a unique art installation inspired by this pagan water festival. More info coming soon, so stay tuned!
By Anna K. Gargarian
Some of you may have been hearing the buzz about FLOW, HAYP’s summer project by lake Sevan. Although it was originally planned for 2015, the project will take place next summer of 2016. Why? We’ve received so many interesting proposals for collaboration by artists and musicians alike that the project has grown from a one-day event to a three-day festival. Instead of rushing things and doing a watered-down version of the project, we decided to dedicate the proper amount of time to plan and budget the FLOW we really want to see take place. What, you may ask, is this FLOW we envision?
FLOW is a three day cultural festival that includes: a temporary site-specific installation, three days of performance (dance, theater and experimental shows), and two evenings of concerts featuring local and international musicians. The unique location, Port Ayas, is a coastal campsite on Lake Sevan near Shorja village. It offers a stunning landscape for artists to work with, and an amazing experience for guests to explore art, grab a bite, take a swim, and even spend the night camping. What’s more, docked at Port Ayas is Cilicia, the legendary wooden sailboat that traveled across Europe (it took two years), and that is modeled after the historic 13th century merchant ship from the Cilicia Kingdom. The vessel measures 20m long, weighs 50 tons, and was entirely constructed from shipbuilding techniques found in medieval manuscripts.
The theme, FLOW, is inspired by water: it’s movement, sound, and symbolism. Water has long-been a source of creative inspiration. We invite artists to explore this theme through various media: painting, photography, installation, sculpture, video, sound…. whatever floats your boat (pun intended).
Here are some examples of works we like from around the world that have served as inspiration for this project:
We’ve been working hard these past two months securing the location and figuring out logistics. We’ve brainstormed with beloved local band (gone international) BAMBIR, as well as emerging musical and visual artist Raffi Semerdjian and his band Palm of Granite.
We’ve been Skyping with internationally renowned Armenian artist, Kevork Mourad (Syrian-born, New York-based painter, film-maker, and performer), and sketching and engineering large-scale sculptural works with local artists and chemists (yes, that’s right…chemists…you wait and see!).
If you’re interested in getting involved, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will put up a call to projects this month with more information on how to be a part of FLOW- LAKE SEVAN 2016.
In the mean time…
Stay tuned for what’s happening this month with HAYP! We’re combining forces with a new local Pop-up Restaurant lead by Victoria Aleksanyan and Arine Aghazarian to bring food and art together for a full experience of the senses. More information coming next week.
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.
But 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.
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.
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
CALL TO ARTISTS!
HAYP Pop Up Gallery presents,
“ANKAPital” a Collective Exhibit
April 2015, Yerevan AM
Application deadline: March 30, 2015
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
«ANKAPital» համատեղ ցուցահանդես
Անցկացման ժամանակահատվածը` 2015 թ. ապրիլ
Վայրը` կհայտարարենքԱրվեստագետի դիմում՝ մինչև մարտի 30,2015
Ուղարկե՛ք բոլոր դիմումները email@example.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:
by Anna K. Gargarian
Happy New Year everyone! I know January is already over, but better late than never. After a dynamic winter season for the start of HAYP Pop Up Gallery – the launching of our crowdfunding campaign, our first exhibit “Frame of Mind: Context and Perspective”, and a well-attended Event Week- the HAYP team took a little break to fuel up.
A little update about the team
A lot of you have had the pleasure of meeting Charlotte in Yerevan: her high energy, pep, charm, and French accent are hard to miss. For our more distant followers, you’ve probably read her “Behind the Scenes” articles, or seen her in our crowdfunding video. Unfortunately, Charlotte won’t be with us in Yerevan until this summer (she’ll be finishing University in Paris), but you may find her every once in a while on the Blog writing about the art scene in Paris and whatnot. We look forward to having her back with the team (and a fancy degree) this summer for our HAYP Summer Festival.
Oscar, who was the mastermind behind our crowdfunding campaign, is currently working in Kapan, just outside of Yerevan. He’ll continue to promote us through our Social Media, and maybe we’ll even “Pop up” in his hood (watch out Kapan!). 😉
Lilit Markosian, one of the artists in our last exhibit “Frame of Mind: Context & Perspective”, has been a huge help with designing our Social Media graphics. You’ll be seeing more of her as a co-organizer for this next exhibit.
If anyone’s interested in helping out, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We need all the help we can get, especially as the exhibition date approaches. Let us know where your interests lie, we need help with exhibition installation and set-up, and coordinating Event Week (concerts, talks, film screenings etc.), even volunteering as a bar tender for opening/closing nights! Keep us posted: firstname.lastname@example.org
HAYP 2.0 Coming soon this April
We’re now working in full “action-mode” to plan our next project, let’s call it HAYP 2.0 for now. We’ll be popping up next in April in Yerevan (exact location to-be-determined), and we’ll follow the same format as our first project: 10 days of exhibition and an Event Week. The theme and artists will be different, and we’ll be posting the exhibition concept and “Call To Artists” within a week, so make sure to check out the HAYP on our Blog and Social Media for updates.
That’s it for now, thanks for reading and keep following us for news and info on our upcoming projects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
“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.
PS: It’s the last 10 days of 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:
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!
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.
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.
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!
by Anna K. Gargarian
When sharing my excitement about HAYP with friends and acquaintances in Yerevan, the first reaction I get is a perplexed look followed by,
“A pop-up gallery?” To which I reply,
“Yeah, are you familiar with Pop ups?”
“Um… yes, I had them when I was a kid,” their eyebrows twisting as they try to imagine a gallery filled with spreads of books revealing standing paper cutouts of all sorts and sizes. Not a bad idea, but wrong type of Pop Up.
A Pop Up is a temporary installation in an unexpected location. The first Pop Ups were in retail and have been around for several years in major cities like New York, San Francisco, Paris, and London where real estate is expensive. Pop Up Shops allowed new companies to have sample sales, test the market and their product, without getting involved in heavy licensing. From there came the Pop Up Gallery, which took off in not only those major cities, but also bustling art hubs like Chicago, Berlin, Cape Town, and Mumbai. Amsterdam even hosts a PopUpWeek featuring events and talks on ideas, innovation, and methods of hosting a successful Pop Up.
Today there are even companies specialized in Pop Up spaces and events like Openhouse in New York, or Storefront in San Francisco. They advertise “Pop-up ready spaces” and even provide marketing and event planning to ensure a smooth Pop Up experience. Real estate brokerage companies are starting to add Pop Ups as a type of property available for clients. All of this is evidence that Pop Ups are not only a trend, but a successful enterprise with a real market.
Now, I’m not going to pretend to know about the real estate market, nor am I professing to be a Pop Up expert. But I do know as a lover of art, a city person, and a curious wanderer, it’s an exciting viewing experience- an experience that is missing in Yerevan.
What do I mean by “experience”? As design arts curator Kory Rogers from the Shelburne Museum told journalist Sally Pollak of the Burlington Free Press, (Pop-up galleries: A growing trend in Burlington’s art scene, May 2013)
“Defining features of pop-up galleries are that they come and go, and typically appear in places not usually associated with art exhibitions. They possess an element of surprise in which viewers kind of stumble upon art when and where they don’t expect it, thus altering the experience of seeing it”.
It’s all about context. Burlington City Arts curator DJ Hellerman tells Pollak that,
“Institutions have histories and brands and reputations…You don’t get that with a pop-up gallery. You’re popping up in a space that is not your own, in a space that is temporary until somebody else comes along to claim it”.
So the experience is affected by several factors, the first is the objectivity of the viewer who is confronted with art in an unexpected space. It’s like accidentally coming across great street art, as opposed to intentionally entering a museum for the purpose of viewing art. Those are two totally different mindsets, and they affect how we see art because of what we bring to the work.
The second is the objectivity of the space. In his renowned article Inside the White Cube from 1976, art critic and historian Brian Odoherty argues that the type of galleries that came about in the 20th century were as important to modern art as the works themselves. He called them “chambers”, or sterile, white, windowless rooms removed from time, that created an almost religious experience for the viewer. HAYP is no longer following the “white cube” model, nor are we viewing art in its “original habitat” like a Madonna and Child commissioned for a Renaissance church altar. We are disrupting typical viewing contexts, and constantly changing them.
I think that there’s also something to be said about the under-construction environment common to the Pop Up. In “How Buildings Learn” an excellent six-part three-hour BBC series that aired in 1997, Stewart Brand states that “low road buildings keep being valuable precisely because they’re disposable”. In other words, what Brand calls “low road buildings”, or cheap spaces, are actually more empowering structures to inhabit. Brand says that their malleability inspires change, it makes you active instead of passive, which inspires freedom, creativity and experimentation. The most creative enterprises happen in these types of spaces. That’s exactly what HAYP is all about: experimentation. We hope to inspire experimental art, and also create an experimental space where ideas can be shared and new projects can be born. On a larger scale, we hope that HAYP will make the public see the potential of these spaces and how important art is to making us see and reinterpret our environment in order to envision a better future.
With this in mind, how context affects the way we view and show art, we are excited to start the HAYP experiment! In the spirit of this theme, we will open our first Pop Up in December with the exhibition, “Frame of Mind: Context and Perspective”. If you’re in Yerevan, we hope that you’ll pop by our Pop Up.