2000 - 2010s
Anna Davtyan made her first efforts in photography in the mid-2000s, by taking part in Ruben Mangasaryan’s photography courses at the Caucasus Media Institute. Having graduated from the Romano-Germanic Faculty at the Yerevan State University, Davtyan is a specialized linguist and is widely known for her verse and prose writing. She has published numerous essays, poems and articles, as well as the poetry compilationThe Gratitude Book (2012) and, until 2014, was working as a photographer and visual arts teacher at Ayb School.
As with literature, the camera has become a tool of free creativity for the artist. Davtyan structures her photographic work in series, consistently building them up over the years. They primarily focus on subjects and themes that operate between the edges of documentary photography and contemporary art. In her series ‘The Book of the Fox’, for example, Davtyan depicts the seemingly ordinary, everyday life of rural communities, but from the perspective of young women. This thematic axis is merely a pretext for a critical and philosophical investigations into the contradictions inherent between women's social, public roles and their private, intimate worlds. Using the aesthetic norms of snapshot or ‘family’ photographs, Davtyan's photographs are entirely staged and performed scenes. As a result, the photographs become records of absolutely identifiable environments and phenomena while simultaneously turning into performative images that ‘queer’ them.
These photographs clearly display the non-hierarchical convictions specific to post-modern art, according to which, there are no ‘high’ or ‘low’ forms of artistic expression or absolute ‘truths’ to be uncovered and the process of revealing the reality becomes a self-sufficient and fluid process in its own right. According to the artist, the purpose of her photographic work is to reveal the ‘middle ground where reality and imagination – which are two sides of the same thing – will cross and become merged, facing the viewer with a permanent question. is it life or is it a game? Not to play hide and seek with the viewer, but to give them something of photography’s poetic side that arches its back underneath the visual image like a sack of sentences.’(1)
1) Anna Davtyan, Artist’s statement, Yerevan, 2013
digital photography, moving image
2014: 'Trouble in Paradise: Photography and Constructions of Femininity, group exhibition, HayArt, Yerevan
Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation, Yerevan