Vigen Galstyan is an art historian, curator and lecturer specialising in photography, film and Armenian art of the modern era. He is the director of the Film Heritage Department at the National Film Centre of Armenia and the Head of Exhibitions at the History Museum of Armenia. Vigen holds an MA in Art Curatorship and completed his PhD dissertation on nineteenth-century Armenian historiographic photography at the University of Sydney. He has curated over twenty exhibitions and authored numerous essays dealing with the history of Armenian art, photography and design.
Although performance art has practically disappeared from the contemporary art scene as an autonomous medium, early practitioners had a profound impact in changing perceptions of the body in Armenia’s post-independence culture.
Hybridizing fine art and mass culture, Soviet-era “chekanka” art generated an unconventional visual world in which ancient and modern mythologies, as well as sexual and political desires could be blended into a patently local cultural narrative.
Vigen Galstyan explores the humble charm of Soviet Armenian mechanical clocks in this first instalment of a series of articles about Armenia’s not-too-distant past as a major producer of everyday consumer goods and a hot spot for industrial design in the USSR.