On April 25, the AGBU Performing Arts Department collaborated with the Wythe Hotel to host an event entitled Muscle Memory and the Moving Image, celebrating the work of contemporary Armenian filmmakers. Curated by Caroline Partamian, an AGBU New York Summer Internship (NYSIP) alumna, the evening featured short films by established filmmakers, such as Atom Egoyan (Butterfly) and Sonia Balassanian (Brooding) as well as emerging filmmakers, such as Emily Mkrtichian and Anahid Yahjian (Levon), Melissa Boyajian (Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon) and Jacob Halajian (White Walls). All proceeds from the event went toward the AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund for Syrian Armenians.
The evening began with opening remarks by Hrag Vartanian, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. “Whether in English, Armenian, Russian, or Turkish, Armenian art speaks all those languages fluently. We often say that Armenia is an open air museum, and under every rock is history. Hiding under every movement, gesture, or thick eyebrow there is a story, a history, even a movie. These filmmakers are all fluent in Armenian art.”
Partamian commented on the unifying themes of the film: “The films deal with memory in forms of loss, depression, nostalgia. Some of these images are uneasy to view, while others are easier to digest. All are powerful. The goal of this evening is for us to walk away with strong images and an opportunity to converse with the creative contemporaries surrounding us.”
Muscle Memory and the Moving Image is not the first time AGBU PAD has showcased the talents of filmmakers. Last November, the department hosted 6 Short Films at the Amphitheater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center. The sold-out event featured films by six recipients of the AGBU Performing Arts Fellowship. AGBU PAD will host this same event next year at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on November 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm.
For more information about the AGBU Performing Arts Department, please visit http://www.agbuperformingarts.org/.