- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 April 4, 2003 

Reality in Art: Kareyan exhibit shows eternal conflict of man-nature

David Kareyan and his video-installation "Marcel's reality" "Moral values are the main distinction making man different from animals," says avant garde artist David Kareyan. "My main works, as well, are trying to fill the cultural gaps resulting from the conflicts between the body and mind, artificial and natural, individual and society."

Kareyan's works are on exhibit in the Armenian Center for Contemporary Art until April 12.

David Kareyan portrays a person's inner world, his thoughts and eternal struggle between nature and artificial life.

"The World Without Us" video-installation represents tops of the Swiss Alps covered with snow and nature's virgin forests. Beside the images the artist constructed a nature made of artificial flowers with a TV set placed in the middle of them and picturing a man wallowing in mud.

The work is meant to have several meanings. The Alps are the everlasting peak representing boundless freedom and never-ending dreams of the soul. These rocks soaring/floating in the clouds drove idealists to take extremes. But there is reality along with the dreams which pushes people from the abstract height to the mud. At last the human being returns to the earth, struggles with nature and tries to return to the lost nature. But he is not succeeding because humans have surrounded themselves with artificial nature.

"They Drink Oil" video-installation expresses the return of nature and regaining of the moral and spiritual values.

There are images of dancing men projected to the whole surface of three walls, one of whom is close to nature, the body of the other man is burdened with mechanisms and moving tools and the third one is preoccupied with political events. This work again represents the man/nature separation and society's consumption of nature.

David Kareyan's art brings to light problems that limit individual and collective freedom. Reality is represented through the denunciations and inner emotions in his works

The 30 year-old artist has shown his art in more than 30 collective and individual exhibitions, including the Viennese Biennale in 2001.

Continuing to explore human being's nature "Marcel's reality" video installation has images of the two different worlds. A family is shown on the monitor consisting of a man, woman and a child. They are sitting on the floor naked and playing with each other. The author shows nakedness not in the forest, but in the modern interior. There is no discrimination, but only peace and mutual understanding. This is opposed by the environment where objects lost their places, meaning and color. The interior created by the artist is absolutely gray: the sofa, the cupboard, the plates and the table are lost in the environment. Those dusty and dirty objects in the metaphorical way are the people that lost themselves in their environment.

"Our society found itself in suchlike situation after collapse of the Soviet Union, when we were given freedom which turned to evil for us," Kareyan says. "Post cold war people were looking for borders. This is the reason for egoism, nationalism which I try to express in my art."

Kareyan chooses modern ways of expressing himself and creating his art, which give the artist larger possibilities to express through images things a poet might express with words.

"I am confident there is no return to the primeval virginity and harmony," he says. "Integrity is in the diversity, tolerance and free choice of the person."

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