Tuesday, March 13, 2007


On March 4th Sksela organized a "Half-silly/Half-serious" public exhibition.

The goal of this event was to transform the park surrounding Komitas’ statue near the Opera into an enclosed environment, which contained many opportunities to provoke thought. The circle was physically divided in to two sections: one half represented things satirical and comedic, while the other half presented facts about Armenia’s reality today.

For example, on the “serious” side an exhibition of photojournalistic photos of Armenia was set up, while on the “silly” side blank pages were put up with markers- allowing participants to write whatever they wanted. On the “serious” side an information booth was set up where publications and information packets from reputable NGOs and IOs were distributed, while on the “silly” side a storyteller read from a book of Armenian fairy tales. On the “serious” side a large exhibition of critical recent news articles was set up, while on the “silly” side satirical headlines were exhibited. On the “serious side” colored signs boldly declared positive civic values (“honesty” “integrity” “hard work” “education” “responsibility”) while the “silly” side hosted artificial values (“materialism”, “cheating”). All the while, alternative and progressive music with messages of action echoed through the entire area.

All in all, the elements inside the “Half-silly/Half-serious Exhibition” were intended to engage participants and raise questions about whether they are satisfied with the reality around them.

In the end however...perhaps this quote by Milan Kundera, one of my favorite writers, which Bella found, summarizes everything best:

"Circle dancing is magic. It speaks to us through the millennia from the depths of human memory.

Madame Raphael had cut the picture out of the magazine and would stare at it and dream. She too longed to dance in a ring. All her life she had looked for a group of people she could hold hands with and dance with in a ring.

First she looked for them in the Methodist Church (her father was a religious fanatic), then in the Communist Party, then among the Trotskyites, then in the anti-abortion movement (A child has a right to life!), then in the pro-abortion movement (A woman has a right to her body!); she looked for them among the Marxists, the psychoanalysts, and the structuralists; she looked for them in Lenin, Zen Buddhism, Mao Tse-tung, yogis, the nouveau roman, Brechtian theater, the theater of panic; and finally she hoped she could at least become one with her students, which meant she always forced them to think and say exactly what she thought and said, and together they formed a single body and a single soul, a single ring and a single dance".

- Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.


Ara Ohanian said...

I'm An Armenian blogger and i want to have link exchang with all Armenian Bloggers and blogs ,
can we have link exchange ???

Dylan said...

great quote big brain

artate said...

In Armenian

And in English

Includes a video clip :)

Observer said...

I would suggest this: http://ditord.wordpress.com - go to the About section, and there is a link to the main directory of over 50 Armenian blogs.