by Mane Hovhannisyan

I started the photographic series “Blue Sun” in June 2020 with the support of the Multimedia Production Lab Grant in Tbilisi, but the idea of the project was born earlier, in November 2019. At that time, I was a participant in a performance dedicated to the theme “the female body in public spaces,” staged near the Republic Square Metro Station in Yerevan, Armenia. The event caused a scandal when conservative circles deemed the work “aggressive feminism,” although that wasn’t our intention. What followed was my work on this project. The main idea of “Blue Sun” is to help to change the perception of contemporary dance, as well as the female body, as an instrument of art in Armenian society.

I show the work of Hasmik Tangyan through my photos. Tangyan is the founder of Contemporary Choreography Lab Armenia (CoChoLab), as well as a dancer and performer in Armenia who helps develop the contemporary choreography scene through teaching, research, and performance production, as well as by providing opportunities for her students to test their skills. Particularly important is her work with children with disabilities, where movement is considered a pathway to spiritual health.

“Blue Sun” is an alternative method of narrative. The photo essay contains allusions to 1972 Soviet science fiction film Solaris by Andrei Tarkovsky. The bluish photos reflect the mood of the novel of the same name by Stanislaw Lem, from which came the title “Blue Sun.” The photographs illustrate an inner sense of transparency, the merging of the body with the space, the body as an art object, and the body as an element of the universe.

The photo series, “Blue Sun,” is a recipient of the Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum grant for South Caucasus Female Photographers (2020 year), mentored by Grégoire Eloy. 

Click on any photo to begin the slide show.

Photo of Mane Hovhanniysan's reflection with constellations on top.

Mane Hovhannisyan is an Armenian fine art and conceptual photographer. Her art is the reflection of the state in-between magic and reality, the correspondence of the human body to the natural and urban environment, and a discovery of old Soviet architectural leftovers through the means of photography. In 2020, Barren Magazine dedicated the entire look of its issue No. 17 to her cycle “Fabula.” Her images have been published in the online journals Gulf Stream Magazine, Arkana, Apricity Magazine, Wild Roof Journal, The Closed Eye Open, Pretty Owl Poetry, and eris & eros. Her photographs were published in print by River Styx, Beyond Words, Red Weather, and Cold Mountain Review.

In 2021 the “Blue Sun” photo series was presented on the i-mediatheque of Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum, and five images were published as a part of the online exhibition “Dada & Democracy” by Artdoc Magazine, and in the juried exhibition “Mind, Body, Spirit” by the J Mane Gallery. 

SLAG GLASS CITY · Volume 7 · June 2021