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Isabella Iskandaryan

Contents of works of art are multi-level. They are inundated with countless psychological states of mind, symbols and allegories.
In physical sciences (exact, natural, etc.) researches apply a few hypotheses and assumptions based on which they arrive at a resolution and interpretation of phenomena under study. In the arts (or generally humanities) researchers deal with countless, diverse and complicated layers, points of view and nuances.

Obviously it is impractical to use numerous hypotheses for as many diverse conditions. For this reason they too resort to grouping layers, and sub-texts, which often result in generalizations, loss and disregard of delicate nuances and minute variations. Artists do not always wish to express their ideas or opinions directly. They very often, deliberately or subconsciously “hide” or “transform” what they wish to express, due to personal or public taboos and circumstances. There are scores of very personal feelings or conditions: sentiments, relation-ships, emotional instances, etc., which the artist hesitates to express. On the one hand he or she has insurmountable urge to get these feelings out, and on the other hand hesitates or fears to share them with others. In order to overcome this dichotomy the artist sometimes replaces events, phenomena and objects by different forms and images, thus expressing whatever he or she wants, and in the meantime hiding it from direct interpretation of the audience. As a result yet another general layer is added to the existing ones. It is important to note that such and similar solutions are mostly adopted by the artist instinctively, instead of deliberately and predetermined. This is the basic difference between a physical scientist and an artist.

Iskandaryan, besides the above-mentioned general layer, has at least two more layers: the surrealistic and the allegoric ones. Adding a layer of artist’s personal, as well as communal-collective symbols has resulted in a multi-color, deep-layered and complex body of works. For a moment let us assume that the artist is absent, or does not wish to “expand on” or describe her work, but non-the-less we feel mesmerizing wisdom of the works, which we are unable to completely comprehend or interpret. Perhaps social and collectively held symbols can be partially recognized and comprehended by the age-group, contemporaries, and compatriots of the artist, but her personal and individual symbols and allegories, if not revealed or explained by the artist, can only be felt, albeit partially, never fully and distinctly…

Instead of discussing and analyzing Iskandaryan’s works one-by-one, we propose to pay attention to the following distinctive features and try to form your own, although personal interpretation of the works, which perhaps could be considered yet another, alternative explanation. Why are people presented in the form of beasts?
What is the meaning of double-sided animals, whose different sides express different conditions: coexistence, confrontation, jealousy, etc.?
What is the signifi cance of introduction of contemporary technological objects (cellular phones, battleships, automobiles, etc.) around beasts?
It feels like some works have political connotation. Try to discover and decipher them. There is major presence of theatricality. Why?

Edward Balassanian