exhibition of new photographs
by Nazik Armenakyan and Anush Babajanyan


‘Dalan’ Gallery,
Abovyan Street, Yerevan
opening reception, 6pm, May 21





‘Life Less Ordinary’ showcases the recent works of documentary photographers Anush Babajanyan and Nazik Armenakyan under the curation of Vigen Galstyan, director of ‘Lusadaran’ Armenian Photography Foundation. Looking at the stories of marginalized individuals in Armenia, the exhibition is about their everyday struggle for acceptance, joy and dignity. Whether constrained by gender, physical handicaps, ethnicity or age, these are people whose determination to go forward and succeed reveals ordinary life in a new, dramatic light.

Over the past decade, Armenakyan and Babajanyan have dealt with a wide range of social, political and cultural issues, producing some of the most incisive contemporary documentary photography in Armenia. Their new series treat a sensitive subject with great delicacy. Foregoing melodrama and sentimentality they confront us instead with provocative restraint and emotional detachment.

Nazik Armenakyan’s large scale, formal portraits leave out crucial details, so that the viewer can focus on the unique personalities behind stereotypes of marginality and illness. Taking a different path, Anush Babajanyan depicts the daily routines of similar people in her sequences, which are reminiscent of snapshots from a family album or Instagram. Nothing seems extraordinary here. Except that the singers are blind, the dance teacher is deaf, the boxing champion is a 17 year old girl, the taxi driver is a woman, the young music student suffers from cerebral brain damage and the amateur botanist has oligophrenia and so on. Sometimes, achieving even the simplest dreams and goals for such people in Armenia and elsewhere, takes heroic effort and courage.

The contrasting approaches of Armenakyan and Babajanyan demonstrate how images affect our perceptions regarding those who are often oppressed and neglected. Even as small fragments of reality, these photographs point to the diverse complexity of the everyday world that surround us and hint at the true cost of what it takes to be ‘ordinary’.



The 4 Plus Documentary Photography Center and the British Embassy Yerevan invite you to Nazik Armenakyan’s and Anush Babajanyan’s new photographic exhibition Life Less Ordinary. Curated by Vigen Galstyan, the exhibition looks at the stories of marginalized individuals in Armenia and their everyday, heroic struggle for acceptance, joy and dignity. Whether constrained by gender, physical handicaps, ethnicity or age, these are people whose determination to survive and succeed reveals the ordinary aspects of life in a new, dramatic light.

The contrasting approaches of the two photographers present their subjects in a similar way. They demonstrate how images affect our perceptions about those who are often oppressed and neglected. Even as small fragments of reality, these photographs give us an insight into the diverse complexity of the everyday world that surrounds us.

Project is funded by the British Embassy Yerevan.