Cafesjian Center for the Arts   »   Exhibitions   »   Mika Vatinyan: Secret Equations

Gallery One

Mika Vatinyan: Secret Equations

December 01, 2018 – February 24, 2019
 
The eleven paintings that make up Mika Vatinyan’s Secret Equations series (2017-18), hang side by side in the Interactive Study Center of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. They all measure 200x150cm and mostly consist of monochrome blots and scratches that have either hidden or erased SOMETHING out. Arranged in loose grids and interspaced with mathematical symbols, what seems veiled from our view are numbers. The paintings appear like a puzzle and there are various ‘clues’ – the repeated mathematical formulas, the multiplied photographs of the artist pasted on one of the works and so on – which point to a meaning to be unlocked. And yet, looking closer and longer at these stains and marks only makes it less clear what the paintings exactly mean. The series begins to appear as a satire of everything in between suprematism and conceptual art, presented like an absurdist echo of iconostases. Is this then a melancholic realization of the impossibility of finding insight and truth – a kind of mourning for art’s own ‘end’?
Vatinyan (b. 1972, Yerevan) has touched on this question throughout his career. Having graduated from Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography in 1994, he is known as one half of the pop-duo ‘The Deenjes’, an actor and director who has also been making considerable strides in contemporary art. Secret Equations, just like Vatinyan’s films and photographic works, acknowledges the state of uncertainty surrounding artistic practice today by asking: what is the promise of art which lures with so much expectation only to leave us puzzled and mystified after the encounter? 
Art, Vatinyan seems to say, is not a history lesson or an ‘update’ on current affairs. Like pages from a school work book, his paintings repeat and redo the same exercise by erasing, rethinking and failing. As a result art becomes something that ‘takes place’ not so much through creation but deconstruction, ruination and constant intellectual modifications. Despite this, traces of older models and ideas are kept and reconsidered. This process does not promise a presupposed catharsis, but offers us the prospect of new aesthetic and philosophical conditions outside of abortive formulas. 

The project curator is Vigen Galstyan, PhD.

The exhibition has been organized with the support of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. 
The project was realized under the Financial Support for Art Project program of Armenia Art Foundation.

On exhibit:
Shadi Ghadirian: Retrospective
Eagle Gallery
October 06, 2018 – December 23, 2018
Sasuntsi Davit Relief
Sasuntsi Davit Gallery
May 21, 2016
Swarovski Crystal Palace
Star Landing
May 12, 2012
Mural by Grigor Khanjyan
Khanjyan Gallery