(Installation: Photo-objects/ Video) Avant-garde Folk Music Club
The project were exhibited twice: in Yerevan, Armenia; in Moscow,
- Solo exhibition by Raffie Davtian,“Avant-garde Folk Music Club”,
November, 2007, Yerevan, Armenia. Curator: Susanna Gyulamiryan.
- In the group show “Re-thinking the Past and the Present” (Curator: Susanna Gyulamiryan) in the frame of the 6th International Biennale of Contemporary Art “Transformation of History or Parallel histories” (art. Director A. Sargsyan), September, Gyumri, Armenia.
- Solo exhibition by Raffie Davtian, “Subjects-Objects Histories and their Histories Proekt_Fabrika, Moscow, Russia (curated by Susanna Gyulamiryan)
By Susanna Gyulamiryan
Raffie Davtian’s artistic project entitled “Human Doors” consists of multi-imaged photo-objects/human bodies installed in space and a video entitled “Inter-est.” Before speaking about his work, I would like to briefly comment on the dynamic of his artistic maturation along with some biographical details.
Writing on the critical text and biography Rosalind Krauss has noted that art criticism of the first half of the 20th century considered the art of any artist as an artistic response to a specific stimulation arising from his life in which the personal, the private and the biographical of the artist appear only in the form of proper names. These are normally the names of those close and familiar to the artist, including the names of his pets. According to Krauss, in this approach the artist’s work exhausts its meaning during the simple act of reference in which mimetic character or representation resembles the traditionally understood proper names. The reduction of an artistic work to the artist’s biography (“art as biography”) narrows down the bigger circumstances which influence the artist.1 The artist’s biography, apart from its frequent usage as an accompanying material for researching his/her art in general and specific works in particular and as a means to examine the dynamic of change in his artistic philosophy, style, structure, articulation, manner of artistic expression, should also speak of the space, the culture, the social context and the time.
Raffie Davtian was born in Isfahan, Islamic Republic of Iran. He has lived in Armenia in the past ten years, occasionally traveling from one country to the other. When speaking about his life, the artist, after mentioning the date and place of his birth, straightly goes to the year 1997 when he was admitted to the State Academy of Arts in Yerevan. Here he studied sculpting and continued his education in the Master’s Program. Davtian’s interest in sculpture goes back to his life in Iran. In Iran, for several years in a row he audited classes at the Free Arts University in Isfahan trying to perceive the essence of materials and forms. At that point sculpture was simply a universal category for him.
The paradigmatic advancement in the perception of sculpture as well as painting did not occur overnight. The perceptions grew proving that sculpture was not a universal category, but rather, a product of historical developments. The experience in this genre that Raffie acquired in his birth country limited the horizons to the understanding of the abstract and the minimalist with implications to constructionism. The works of the artist produced in that period are full of self-sufficient plasticity and geometrical inertness. However, in them one can already see the growing interest in a different artistic alphabet - the immanence of form, preciseness and multi-faceted bodies as opposed to transcendence and abstractness.
1 Краусс Р.. Подлинность авангарда и другие модернистские мифы. XЖ,17 Москва, 2003, с.34-38.