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Four Photos

by Mane Hovhannisyan

Merging with the stars

Mind Cage

Whispers of the Plants

Double Sun

Artist’s Statement

I’ve started the photographic series “Blue Sun” in June 2020, with the support of the “Multimedia Lab Grant” in Tbilisi. The idea of the project was born earlier, in November 2019. At that time I was a participant of the performance, which was dedicated to the theme “female body in public spaces” and was realized near the Republic Square Metro Station. This caused a scandal among some conservative circles, who supposedly “protect” the traditional values of society. As a result the performance was considered just as experience of aggressive feminism, although it wasn’t its idea at all. So I’ve started working on this project.

The main idea of my photographic series “Blue Sun” is to help to change the perception of contemporary dance as well as of a female body as an instrument of art in Armenian society. In this context I show through my photos the work of Hasmik Tangyan, the founder of “CoChoLab Armenia” (Contemporary Choreography Lab). She is a contemporary dancer and performer in Armenia, who tries to develop the scene of contemporary choreography through teaching, research, production of performances and through giving an opportunity for her students to test their skills in different scenes. Particularly important is her work with children with disabilities, where the movement of the body is considered as a way to spiritual health.

The title “Blue Sun” is a sort of alternative method of narrative. The photo story contains some allusions about the atmosphere of the film “Solaris” by Andrei Tarkovsky, as well as general about soviet epoch.

Moreover the bluish photos reflect the mood of the novel “Solaris” by Stanislaw Lem, from which it has got the title “Blue Sun”.

The photographs illustrate the inner sense of transparency, the merging of the body with the space, the body as an art object and the body as an element of the universe. In this way, I combine two narrative lines, which are paralleled on a philosophical level. The photo series “Blue Sun” is recipient of Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum grant for South Caucasus Female Photographers (2020 year) mentored by Grégoire Eloy.

About Mane Hovhannisyan

Mane Hovhannisyan (mɑnɛh ˈhʌvɑnˈiːsˈjæŋ) is an Armenian fine art and conceptual photographer. The preferred topics of her art are the reflection of the state in-between magic and reality, the correspondence of the human body to the natural and urban environment, as well as the discovery of old Soviet architectural leftovers through the means of photography. She’s working as a lead photographer for Daily newspaper of Golden Apricot International Film Festival (from 2015). Twice she was a winner of contests of Mirzoyan Photo Library “Old Yerevan” and “Landscape and Architecture”, in which frames her photos were exhibited. She was also honored with the “Multimedia Production Lab Grant” in Tbilisi. In 2020 Barren Magazine dedicated the entire look of its issue No.17 to the cycle “Fabula”. Moreover, some of her images were published in the online magazines Gulf Stream Magazine, Arkana, Apricity Magazine, Wild Roof Journal, The Closed Eye Open, Pretty Owl Poetry and eris & eros. The photographs were published in print for River Styx magazine.

In 2021 the “Blue Sun” photo series was presented on the i-mediatheque of Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum. Furthermore, five images were published as a part of the online exhibition “Dada & Democracy” by the Artdoc photography magazine and “Mind, Body, Spirit” by the J Mane Gallery. One of the images was selected for publication in the print edition of Beyond Words magazine.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.