Samvel Saghatelyan
LOVE is EleCtric

This summer 2016 the ICA commissioned a site-specific mural by Yerevan born artist, Samvel “Saga” Saghatelian entitled “ՍԵՐ is Electric”. The work is an elaboration on “LOVE is electric Է”, a graphic signboard the artist created in June 2015 at the time of the Electric Yerevan protest. Now, one year later, Yerevan has seen the second protest that, although not concerning electricity, was perhaps more “electric” in its intensity, mediatic coverage, and violence. 

The mural and its original signboard are part of the artist’s “Political and Personal Protest Signs” series, which takes a playful formalistic approach to the contrasting forms of Latin and Armenian letters. His “protests” emphasize love (or its lack thereof), whether personal, societal, or governmental. The word “love” itself is a phonetic play on the Armenian term “լավ”, or “good”. 

On the occasion of the mural’s public inauguration, the ICA has joined forces with HAYP Pop Up Gallery to curate the second edition of Sam Saga’s “Political and Personal Protest Signs”. “LOVE ICA” represents an organic follow-up to HAYP5.0 (ENTER THROUGH THE SMOKESHOP), this time with an even greater call-to-action. Just as this year’s protest was more intense than last year’s, Sam Saga’s personal protest for love has multiplied in scale from hand-held signboard to the entire building facade. 

Curators: Anna K. Gargarian, HAYP Pop Up Gallery, curator & creative director 
                Teresa Davtyan