Posts Tagged ‘armenian landscape’

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[Armenian Landscapes]

November 17, 2010

Sunset in the Shirak region

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Credit: Levon Lachikyan

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[Armenian Landscapes]: Yeraz im Erkir HAYASTAN!

September 22, 2010
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[Armenian Landscapes]

July 29, 2010

St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Yerevan

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Credit: Levon Lachikyan

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[Armenian Life]

July 27, 2010

Yoga

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Credit: Hasmik Manukyan

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[Armenian Landscapes]

July 26, 2010

In the shadow of Odzun

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Credit: Erin Henk

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[Armenian Life]: Yerevan Hosts This Year’s Delphian Games.

July 1, 2010

By Levon Lachikyan

From June 26 until July 2, Armenia will be hosting the 6th Youth Delphian Games. Much like the Olympic Games, the Greeks organized the Delphian Games every four years and held them near the Temple of Apollo of Delphi. The games date back to 582 B.C. but were eventually forgotten; Greece revived the tradition about 30 years ago. Then in 2000, 1st World Delphian Games were organized and 27 countries participated. Since 2002, the games have been held exclusively in former Soviet nations now members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The purpose of the organizing the Delphian Games is to maintain and develop the cultural heritage of world nations, as well as to promote cultural communication. Armenia now proudly hosts 327 representatives from 12 countries. Two hundred Armenian participants have joined the games, too. Compared to previous times the only difference is in the prizes: the laurel wreaths to be awarded to the winners, are replaced with golden, silver and bronze medals with picture of Armenian goddess Anahit.

Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Youth Delphian Games

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Credit: Levon Lachikyan

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[Listening to Armenia]: Here (The Story Sleeps) – An American Director in Armenia.

June 24, 2010

By Daniele Faye Sourian Sahr

Landscape obsession. That’s the name of the game in Here [The Story Sleeps], the first-ever American feature film set in Armenia. An American satellite-mapping engineer travels the country’s diverse mountainous regions, striving with a maniacal fixation to transfer the exact measurements of these natural lands into a digitally plotted geometric language.

But his frustrations mount as the magnificent untamed landscape becomes more of an emotional map rather than one easily filtered through a 21st century cartographer’s vision. The untouched terrain of Armenia’s beauteous peaks, crags, canyons, and valleys are overpowering and drive him to fall in love with an Armenian art photographer, Gadarine, rather than to fit the untamable into a rational grid of lines and numbers.

Here [The Story Sleeps] is Premiered at MoMA Film Screenings

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Credit: Scott Rudd / MoMa New York

The film, directed by Braden King, takes the viewer directly into the emotional plight of the main character as he experiences the sensations of the Armenian landscape with various enrapturing cinematic and visually artistic techniques.

Quick flashes of Gadarine’s magnetic postcard-like photographs speed by our eyes, turning us through views of Armenian lands, towns, and people as we experience someone else’s memories of a place and time.

The use of three separate screens allows for a variety of creative scenic views. We look from one screen to the next. The skip in our view adds a tension of at once seeing more yet concurrently missing what must connect the in-between – as if trying to plot the story ourselves.

Simple filming techniques, as a “backseat driver” in the couple’s van as they journey through Southern Armenia’s natural reserves, captures the main character’s raw yet humble struggle against a backdrop of lush green expanse through a half-open window.

A Scene from Here [The Story Sleeps]
Accompanied by the Boxhead Ensemble at MoMA

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Credit: Scott Rudd / MoMa New York

And an interlude that is filmed at the red rocky mountain range surrounding Noravank Monastery slowly transforms an overhead plane view into a moving computerized 3-D grid rendition of the grand dry peaks. We fly over a swarm of lines drawing the mountains out as they pass underneath as if inside the cartographer’s mind, seeing his idealized dream that remains forever unfulfilled, jumbled and chaotic.

The film’s premiere screening was held at the opening night of MoMA’s Creative Capital Exhibition on April 30, 2010 with live film score performed by the Boxhead Ensemble and composed by Michael Krassner.

The music was not of Armenian influence, but it did add a dimension of poignant immediacy. Silent views of the landscape and the characters’ inner musings were accompanied by an ethereal aural atmosphere. And even the live music reacted to landscape just as the characters’ experiences did on screen.

Check out this video of the making of Here [The Story Sleeps]. As Diaspora Armenians, we get to have an unusual look at a non-Armenian artist’s perception of the land. It is a view innocently untouched by personal history or pre-conceived cultural notions. Either way, the vision is as stirring as our own.