Dalan Gallery, Abovyan 12, Yerevan

Curated by Vigen Galstyan

‘De-Scription’ is the first solo exhibition of Mika Vatinyan’s photographs, organized by Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation, with the support of Dalan Gallery, Yerevan. Comprised of three series, the exhibition brings together Vatinyan’s diverse experiments with the photographic medium, all of which relate to the problematic yet often-unpredictable relationship between image and language.

Vatinyan is well known in Armenia as an actor, filmmaker and as the co-creator of the indie-rock band ‘The Deenjes’. However, few are aware of his practice as an artist. Focusing on photography, the works shown in this exhibition explore the way socio-cultural idiosyncrasies transform the banality of ‘universal’ systems or ways of seeing the world. By doing so, Vatinyans follows Jean-Luc Godard’s idea that ‘photography is not the reflection of reality. It is the reality of that reflection.’

Despite evoking specific traditions of contemporary art, none of Mika’s photographic series have a clear identity. Translating lowbrow slang and ubiquitous forms of photography like the selfie together with the haughty methods of conceptual art, Vatinyan plays with the rules of the genre so that he can desacralize or even destroy in order to reinvent it again.

These works lack any kind of ideological motive. There is, instead, a flippant celebration of absurdity and the insistence on the relevance of emotion, place and paradox in our daily engagement with images :)