To Die Is To Live FIRST VERSION davosfilms.com

Essay

The film of David Sarkissian "To Die Is To Live" tries to release Armenian filmo-matography from theatrical language-thinking, which has taken on itself the culture of literal-art supported by soviet states opposites the culture of scientific-techniques for a long time. In post-soviet Armenia the cognitions of Art are arrived in the cross-roads of oppositions and mutually exclusiveness. All the things that were created before discovering electricity and its mass usage (in our case it appropriates with establishment of soviet state) opposites the unilateral but dominant cognition of national culture, which defines our national being as an opportunity to return to the world of cattle breeding and agriculture. For its being the Film Art owes electricity. But, being considered as an independent way of art, Film goes on searching for its special language elements. The film, which is being released from literature narrative, sees itself in painting. David Sarkissian understands painting as a performance which is cleaned from narrative. In the context of this film you can find abstract expressionism presented as the finish of Romantic Movement started since19th century.
Film “To Die Is To Live” considered to be a non-finished project which is completely opposite to the idea of narrative. The romantizm in 20th century was able to get the second life by completely including feature film as well as serials nowadays. Art creation for David Sarkissian is reveals of transcendental strengths. Refusing increasing script Sarkissian chooses more radical step. He refuses to see film as a completed, finished work. Under the same title, he already has 5 different versions. Comparing film with painting, it cannot have original and copy versions, all the copies are original. By playing-transferring this idea to the special adult psychiatric state, which, as it seemed , stopped to be the question agitating only youth, and today it transferred to nervous state, when a human not only aims to satisfy his biological claims, but also gets new feelings. With this approaching he goes on the traditional art cognition, where the author, in this case and as a rule, is the man ready to self-reproduction. The admire and drama are sent to the first plan, as an echo of lost world.
In the film “To Die Is To Live” director used frames from the documental film (we can say also staged) which made Jackson Pollock famous, and also frames of Yves Kline’s famous performance as well as performances of four late soviet union artists, which fight against “the mourning of philology”. The stills are being paused with working-constructing and ruining-destructing views. Using opportunities of television and internet David Sarkissian tries to release them from the services of consumption world. He gives us back the memories of people inspire in the times of technical sunrise. It was as an single opportunity to change the world. This time, far from grace of advertisings and clips, we meet a warning – to preserve the originality of every single living individual.
As the theme of soundtrack range he takes the subject which agitates the youth, questions about life and death as well as the questions concerning the meaning of life. Sarkissian presents it as the hardness of being related to ideals of peace and love. This gives chance to artist to avoid negative cognition of the society which is overloaded with moral-psychological problems.
Showing expressive gesture as resurrection of new and sporadic, David Sarkissian remains, that “the thing was promised since its born time must be done yet ”.

Arman Grigoryan
Art critic

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