On October 7, an unprecedented exhibition took place in the Stepanakert Picture Gallery: the visitors had the opportunity to enter, with soul and mind, the gates of 100 churches of present-day and historic Armenia.
The exhibition is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. In late 2015, the project was launched at the Artists' Union of Armenia (Yerevan), then toured the regions of Armenia. After Artsakh, it is planned to be organized in Javakhk and, finally, in Istanbul. The project's author is producer Khachik Yeghoyan and its artist is Ruben Martirosyan.
The opening ceremony was very symbolic. The visitors were given magnetic cards with Armenian ornaments, which had to be installed on an outlined door at the gallery entrance. With the help of the visitors, the 101st door was assembled, and it was found out to be the door of the Mush Holy Apostles Church, which is currently in the Historical Museum of Armenia.
“In 1915, the door was somehow saved by the people and brought to Eastern Armenia. I am sure that one day we will take the wooden door and install it in the Mush Holy Apostles Church in Western Armenia”, said the exhibition's author, Khachik Yeghoyan, adding that the project '100 doors' aimed to use the language of aesthetics for voicing once again the demands of the Armenian people's century-long struggle and paying tribute to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims.
According to the author, the idea of the exhibition originated in late 2012, near the St. Hripsime Monastery.
“I am a professional filmmaker, I stage concerts, shoot small documentaries and video clips. In short, I am a creative person and, most importantly, a believer. In fact, the idea of this project was born by chance. One day, I was sitting in the yard of St. Hripsime Church in Etchmiadzin city, which, by the way, is one of my favorite churches. The weather was fine, and the sunlight created a beautiful shadow on the door of the temple. The scene immediately attracted me as a producer. After a long look at the picture taken by my phone I clearly decided to draw 100 church doors. It was still 2012. Later, we decided to prepare an exhibition ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The map was outlined strictly through our ancestors’ dreamed Armenia - Nakhijevan, Western Armenia, Republic of Armenia, Javakhk, and Artsakh. And I turned this goal into a national project. Together with photographer Ruben Martirosyan, I toured through Western Armenia, the regions of the Republic of Armenia, Javakhk and Artsakh and photographed the doors of 100 churches. Unfortunately, we couldn't realize our plans regarding Nakhijevan. We wanted to present our ancestors' once lost and then partly liberated Armenia. You know, history has shown that the mankind, and especially our people, is strong through its unity and consolidation. This exhibition is like a pilgrimage and consolidation. In real life, many people probably cannot or do not visit these churches, and in this way they seem to stand in front of these 100 churches”, said Khachik Yeghoyan.
The exhibition was attended by leader of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan and other clergymen, who blessed the event and the project.
The film, which was shot throughout the project, was screened. The author noted that during the shooting people had joined them, wishing to be helpful, which is another example of consolidation – one of the project's goals.
Khachik Yeghoyan also stressed that culture is a means to raise Genocides condemnation and compensation issues.