The totally surreal Sergei Parajanov Museum in Yerevan
Strap in for a hallucinogenic ride through the mind of Armenia’s favourite filmmaker and artist.
Sergei Parajanov was a leading Soviet Armenian avant-garde director and artist.
He was born to Armenian parents in Georgia, studied in Moscow and got his first job as an assistant director at the Dovzhenko studios in Kiev.
As a director, his movies Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and The Colour of Pomegranates established him as one of the 20th century’s greatest masters of cinema.
Sergei was also a surreal artist of note.
The Sergei Parajanov Museum in the Armenian capital is a testament to his fertile and often bizarre artistic vision.
The museum is set in a traditional home overlooking the Hrazdan gorge in Yerevan.
It features displays of disembodied dolls, reimagined furniture and humorous and witty icons that chart his surreal artistic vision.
It is also home to a sobering collection of sketches and art done in prison, when Sergei inevitably fell out of favour with the Soviet powers that be.
The items range from caricatures and sketches to silver coins. Sergei fashioned the coins from scraps of aluminium and would give them to guards in return for various favours.
Despite the privations Sergei faced prison with good humour and positivity. He was convinced that something good might come out of it.
The aluminium coins that Sergei made while he was in prison are now presented as the top prize in the annual Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan.
Official website: Sergei Parajanov Museum
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