Pera Museum presented for the first time in Turkey a selection that brought together all periods of the versatile, multicultural visual world of renowned director Sergey Parajanov, master of poetic cinema. Featuring many works across a wide spectrum ranging in style from the traditional to pop-art, from strikingly unique collages to storyboard drafts, from film costumes to drawings, paintings, mosaics, objects and photographs, the exhibition shed light on the brilliant and fertile world of the artist.
Born in Tbilisi, Parajanov received singing and violin lessons as a child, displayed an interest in ballet and painting, worked with a theatre troupe, wrote scripts and embraced all branches of the fine arts. He settled in Moscow and studied at VGIK, the State Institute of Cinematography. His unique, breathtaking and spectacular cinematic language places him among the most important directors in film history.
Childhood, family, religion, captivity, freedom, multiculturality and traditional themes are at the forefront of his works, yet Parajanov engages with everything about life. Although he approaches many different genres, his work does not fit into any single category, it remains original throughout. Because of his dissident stance, he suffered under the Soviet regime, and was imprisoned for long periods. Even when free, he was deprived from the means to make films –this was how he begun to make his collages, discovering potential in any kind of material he came across. The boundless world of fantasy and symbolism in his collages reveals him as a master of the art of objects. His collages also brought him freedom, and the means to transcend borders and as in his films, his powerful creative energy found further expression in this medium.
The exhibition also featured works exclusively created in homage to Parajanov by Sarkis, another master artist who passionately followed him.
This exhibition had been prepared in collaboration with the Sergey Parajanov Museum, and a selection of Parajanov’s films also screened in a parallel program.
Grandma’s Walnut Preserve, 1984
Right Hand Images
Repentance (Variations on Themes by Pinturicchio and Raphael with Shells), 1989
Self-Portrait with a Fez in Istanbul, 1989
Self-Portrait in Istanbul, 1989
Photo: Ara Güler
Parajanov, with Sarkis