'Description'։ exhibition about photography
This text was written in order to describe what this exhibition is about. Unfortunately, the protocols of such curatorial texts limit the way one can discuss the artworks or the complexities they touch upon. It is precisely these kinds of etiquettes that Mika Vatinyan’s works try to break in order to go beyond the formulas that delimit the image-language relationship. The question they ask is whether anything can truly be described today in our age of the emoticon, when all forms of storytelling are under suspicion?
The exhibition is organized by Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation and includes Vatinyan’s diverse experiments with the photographic medium. The three series are all tied around the problematic, yet often-unpredictable relationship between photographs, language and narrative. More specifically, they explore how banal images and ‘universal’ ways of seeing the world are transformed when they are inevitably subjected to translation in individual and local contexts. As a result, Vatinyan reminds us of Jean-Luc Godard’s idea that ‘photography is not the reflection of reality. It is the reality of that reflection.
Despite evoking specific tendencies of Armenian and international contemporary art, Mika’s photographic series remain suspicious of them. By celebrating absurdity, these works reconfirm the need to tell stories and insist upon the significance of mystery and paradox in our daily engagement with images. Thus, art (and especially photography) for Vatinyan is not simply a scene of a crime, but a theatrical game of ideas that is beyond description.