It all started with that fat weird looking cat. Then came the fat Roman soldier and the jumbo submarine, followed by a couple of very thin rabbits. Pretty much then I realized that Yerevan’s beloved Cascade was slowly turning into Mr Gerard Cafesjian’s personal open air attic, where he put the stuff he had no room for in his house. I still didn’t know why he thought it was OK to place a statue next to a monument that stood there for 50 years. Yet I had no idea how right I was about the attic concept, until I visited the newly opened Cafesjian museum.
It was then when I decided to start my own museum and call it Narek’s Unbelievably Cool Museum of Very Modern Art, in fact you can all start your own museums. Because now I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t.
I have several handwritten notes from the early Sergey Sargsyan, a distinguished Armenian writer, that I can post in the first room of my future museum. Much like Mr Cafesjian posted around 20 very rough sketches by Archil Gorky, personally I wouldn’t even call them sketches, just 2-3 lines on a piece of paper, really they had very, very little to do with the works of the great master.
Remember how conquistadors got lands and tons of gold from Indians trading it for colored pieces of glass? Mr Cafesjian has an obvious fetish for colored pieces of glass too! He even designated several floors of his museum to display his collection of molded, colored, shiny pieces of glass. Do you have colored pieces of glass? We know a buyer! I can’t seem to find any in my attic, but I found several pieces of lead, all Armenian kids melted lead from car batteries when they were little, so I still have a cross, a ninja suriken and a horse head. That’s stuff for the next room of Narek’s Unbelievably Cool Museum of Very Modern Art.
After visiting the museum room with amateur photos of George Harrison and Eric Clapton by their mutual former slutty wife I suddenly realized I also have a number of non-professional blurry photos that may be enlarged, framed, signed and displayed for public. I may not have photos with John Lennon or B.B. King, yet I have a photo with grandson of Elvis Presley’s horse and a big collection of photos of the early Sergey Sargsyan, a distinguished Armenian writer. So that’s now three museum rooms that I can organize.
I did kind of enjoy the comic book style paintings of Armenian history by Khanjyan, beacause I liked comic books a lot as a child, but I guess Mr Cafesjian liked those paintings simply because they were enormously big. Yet this was where I figured that there was no need to try to have any theme in your museum rooms, and that it was totally OK to stuff it with random stuff. Khanjyan’s works shared the room with another set of molded colored glass, with one piece seriously reminding a sex shop item, anal beads to be more specific. So I realized I can have another room displaying my 1993 comic book “Death of Superman”, a toof khachkar I made when I was 11 and our old red toaster, that still works, but kinda burns the bread too much.
And finally the room that had wooden alligators by unknown sculptor from Madagaskar, a 1906 Ford, a statue of Neptun with a bunch of mermaids, a train and guess what? Of course more colored pieces of glass. This room really proved my point that museum rooms need no themes and organization whatsoever. Let me be honest here, the Ford car was the only thing I liked about the museum, yet the rest of the 55 minutes I spent in Cafesjian Kingdom of Glass Fetish are lost forever. To have a museum room as thematic and as organized as this one I might try and find a vintage “Pobeda” car, an obsidian keychain I bought at Vernisage (also by an unknown sculptor), a wig I used last year to do a Michael Jackson sketch in Comedy Night, a book signed by Russian ex-comedian Yevgeniy Petrosyan and a very old Coca-Cola bottle.
Oh and finally what is a museum good for if it doesn’t have a gift shop? Unfortunately I don’t have cups with Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe or overpriced Campbell Soup reproductions or colored pieces of glass for 225 000 drams. Yet I can offer you a variety of red Nescafe cups, used pens, reproduction of Sergey Sargsyan’s signature, tree-shaped car scents and unopened cans of tuna fish.
So if you are dying to see Narek’s Unbelievably Cool Museum of Very Modern Art, please follow this website. I promise to charge less then the 1000 drams Mr Cafesjian requested. Admission prices: 75 drams for children 1-17 and police officers, 100 drams adults, 50 drams senior citizens 65-99, 12 500 drams for oligarchs, free admission to people with sideburns and 50 000 drams if Mr Cafesjian ever wants to look at my museum.