Private residence

September 12, 2013

Curated by Vigen Galstyan




Sex and pornography are not innocent, but can they at least pretend to be so? These and other everyday questions are addressed in Samvel Saghatelyan’s exhibition ‘Transromance’, curated by Vigen Galstyan and opened at a private apartment in Yerevan on September 12, 2013 as a one-day event.

Composed of 11 mixed media photo-collages and one photocopy-collage, the series depicts the birth and development of a supra-male sexual fantasy.

Regarding body, gender and sexual desire as a cultural and political phenomenon, Saghatelyan attempts to find a small platform of pleasure and enjoyment in the cross-section of these issues. At this ambigous, liminal point, the abscence of clear positions and answers itself becomes a kind of a solution.

In the carnavalesque space of ‘Transromance’ power relations and sexual politics become masks – at once laughable, mutating, in a sense naive and in this particular game, always equal.

Referring to the underground and private apartment exhibitionս of the 1970s-80s Soviet period, the one-day presentation of ‘Transromance’ took place in a two bedroom flat in downtown Yerevan. Utilising this living environment, the exhibition transforms an ordinary domestic habitat into a laboratory of sexual myths.

The evening developed into a ‘happening’ as the over 100 visitors flooded in an out of the appartment until four in the morning. Arthur Manukyan performed his renditions of Sayat-Nova on the guitar, conceptual artists put on impromptu performances and intellectuals took on the floor to give talks while guests debated the questions and ideas provoked by the show.

Sex and pornography are not innocent, but can they at least pretend to be so? These and other everyday questions are addressed in Samvel Saghatelyan’s exhibition ‘Transromance’, curated by Vigen Galstyan and opened at a private apartment in Yerevan on September 12, 2013 as a one-day event.Composed of 11 mixed media photo-collages and one photocopy-collage, the series depicts the birth and development of a supra-male sexual fantasy.Regarding body, gender and sexual desire as a cultural and political phenomenon, Saghatelyan attempts to find a small platform of pleasure and enjoyment in the cross-section of these issues. At this ambigous, liminal point, the abscence of clear positions and answers itself becomes a kind of a solution.In the carnavalesque space of ‘Transromance’ power relations and sexual politics become masks – at once laughable, mutating, in a sense naive and in this particular game, always equal.Referring to the underground and private apartment exhibitionս of the 1970s-80s Soviet period, the one-day presentation of ‘Transromance’ took place in a two bedroom flat in downtown Yerevan. Utilising this living environment, the exhibition transforms an ordinary domestic habitat into a laboratory of sexual myths.The evening developed into a ‘happening’ as the over 100 visitors flooded in an out of the appartment until four am in the morning. Arthur Manukyan performed his renditions of Sayat-Nova on the guitar, conceptual artists put on impromptu performances and intellectuals took on the floor to give talks while guests debated the questions and ideas provoked by the show.