This particular project began with Armenia's Marriott Hotel summer season magazine; Ara worked as a consultant, helping create the aesthetic strategy for the magazine. "It would be cool to feature an Armenian holiday from the season, which is Vardavar," thought Ara. "Let's not do what everyone has already done. Everyone photographs kids in the streets with buckets and plastic bottles; no one has done a portrait photo series capturing the moment when a person is splashed."
The idea attracted a lot of people. "It's cool how so many people reacted," says Ara. The Internet had a viral effect, and Lovers' Park Project Coordinator Sarhat Petrossian, Ara's client, saw sample photos on Ara's Facebook page, and the initial idea for a magazine spread turned into a "happening" (an event in which art is integrated in everyday life) at Lovers' Park.
With the green light from Sarhat, Ara rallied his friends in the courtyard of his apartment in the Yerrord Mas district of Yerevan, and let the splashing begin. Along with photographers Vahan and Arman, Ara invited his friends via Facebook to stand in as models. "It interested me to capture what they felt: pleasure, fear, how people stood still, and how their expressions changed the instant they were splashed," says Ara.
Ara attributes the results to the entire process. "Each photo is unique," says Ara. "I couldn't plan anything. A lot of the creation came from the subjects and how each reacted differently."
Friday, 24 July 2009
Vardavar-inspired photo exhibit at Lovers' park, Yerevan
By Ara Aslanyan, Vardavar series.