Post Lot Text
For Samvel Baghdasaryan the use of the circles as an artistic gesture and has, in itself, become a signature which developed in three phases. The first phase is historical and factual. Initially, the idea came from the capacity of noticing subtext between the lines of the Soviet propaganda books and taking notes (the action of using a circle for each piece of uncovered information). The circles stood for a hidden politicised gesture of an act -privately politicising things and facts was the main character of the alternative art scene of the late 1970s in Yerevan.
In the early 1990s, making circles became abstract, as a reference to a certain independence and experimental experience. This abstract quality became the main source for Baghdasaryan’s monotypes, such as those offered in Lots 165-167.
From 1995-1996 the circles gained another artistic function; this time connected with tallying. Each circle as one unit and content, which could be pressed identically and equally, but it could also act as a joint for the historical and abstract phases.
The pressing of the circles is symbolic of the various fixations of the different times. It is a reference to a systematic and sequential counting, but fragmented and segmental, as the changes in the history and politics, what Baghdasaryan experienced in the context of the Soviet and post-Soviet space. For instance, the module of the 36 circles refers to the aftermath of the Repressiive Years under Stalin’s rule, where the concept of the repression is artistically and physically pressed and re-pressed.
We are grateful to Marianna Hovhannisyan for her assistance with this catalogue note.