Sweetie Baby by Compass, a group of young Armenian lads. In interviews they’ve said they are inspired by the Beatles, which in this performance translates into the bass player doing a priceless McCartney imitation.
Small kiosk which once sold school and art supplies. Gyumri, Armenia.
I previously posted a picture of of box of Barf laundry detergent that was purchased in Armenia. Well it turns out that they also came up with this seasonal packaging, which is a kind of celebration of their decades-long association with New Year’s Eve and good cheer. May the new year be full of good things for all of you!
Crane game filled with cigarettes, Yerevan, Armenia, 2012. There are many of these spread around Yerevan, but this one was the best I saw because of the decals.
Soviet era theater in Yerevan, Armenia. This is located above one of the subway stations. The theater part of the building is closed off but the expansive lobby has been converted into a shopping mall, with many shops built into the surrounding grounds. If you find yourself in Yerevan looking for art supplies you will find a good place in the area outside. They stock a good quality brand of Russian oil paints that cost far less than all of the great brands that are sold in the US.
In Soviet architecture fanciful use of concrete is a leitmotif, and I have a great love for the inventiveness and strangeness of it. You can see it on curtain walls for skyscrapers, in sculptural buildings and even in the decorative concrete fencing in many former Soviet cities. In a society where shackles were placed on many types of creative expression, engineers and architects were allowed to explore and be creative.
Perhaps this is the way things always are: repressive societies inevitably have realms where people can be very expressive, and then the people in power will point and say, “look at how much freedom we have!” And it is likely the same thing here in the US, where we can point to our movies and music and say “look at how much freedom we have!” Meanwhile we battle with our prejudices and try to decide who should be left out. People who don’t believe in evolution try to act as agents of evolution and people who don’t believe in God are just down the block trying to find God or his kinder brother Gosh, or anything else to believe in.
In other words, this great terrarium we find ourselves in might actually just be a particularly elaborate Joni Mitchell song.
(Thanks to my friend Ken Hay for the photograph).