Vahram Galstyan 
Between Instinct & Intelligence

The installation by Vahram Galstyan at the Janco-Dada Museum, Israel refers to conflict as a driving force, dominant in human and social life. The installation consists of three elements that are displayed at various points in the museum: 1. A long table, set for a "meal," with plates and cutlery at each end, with heads facing the viewer. Two empty chairs facing the plates, Open to the imagination and the worldview of every viewer; 2. a video in which columns of clay grow up and each time, when they reach their peak, they are violently beheaded by a sharp instrument; 3. metal plate columns with numbers on them.

Galstyan's work can be considered on several levels. On the political level, this is an expression of the Armenian genocide by the Turks, a trauma that the Armenians, like us, cannot free themselves from. In this context, it should be noted that in the past the artist created a large head installation as a reminder of this genocide. At the same time, thoughts of a dictatorship that suppresses any growth and eliminates its opponents come to mind. As is known, the Armenian people suffered for many years from the Communist rule as part of the Soviet Union. 

Galstyan's ongoing work, in various media and materials, also directs us to philosophical thoughts about human existence, life and death, on the fusion with the earth and the ionization, but also on the creation and the role of the creator in relation to the matter and his control over it. One might think of the phrase "as material in the hands of the creator" and the "golem rises on its creator" - because, at the end of the short video, the columns that the artist builds, which repeatedly crack, rebel and overcome the aggressor. 

Nazareth Karoyan, the head of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Yerevan, who curated Galatyan's exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Yerevan wrote: 
"One can assume that in his life project Vahram Galstyan raffles these two dimensions: existence and life of clay. ‘Existence of clay,’ ‘life of clay.’ These paradigmatic expressions as idioms seem to be possible on syntax level of language. From a semantic standpoint, it is a meaningless tautology of words. However, clay is life itself, not only from the metaphoric perspective but also in reality. How can life have a life? It is through this tautology, that the existence of life can be reasoned. The presence of life is concluded in clay, the precursor, that is". 


Avraham Eilat