An exhibition of photographs from the archive of David Sarkisyan, 2019

The layout of the exhibition 'Negatives' is built around a roll of camera film, once given by David Sarkisyan — the then Director of the Shchusev Museum of Architecture — to Meganom architectural bureau. The frames on that film turned out to include statues of cultural significance from around the world. Yet the full story of these negatives is unknown to the exhibition organisers.

The exhibition is dedicated to the release of the book 'David' — the biography of David Ashotovich Sarkisyan. The book was written and edited by friends of David in 2019 as part of the program MGNM, the publishing wing of Meganom.

David Sarkisyan was a biologist, documentary film director, author of articles on contemporary art and director of the Museum of Architecture in Moscow. David’s museum office — a real 'Aladdin’s cave' — was world famous. Here, he would lovingly assemble fascinating objects, received as presents, got as trophies and brought by all other possible means from various places around the world.

In one of the boxes in David’s office lay black-and-white film negatives, but of what and by whom — no one knew. Years after the office had moved from the 'Aptekarsky Prikaz' to the 'Ruin' wing of the museum and the archive from the office had gradually transferred to David’s friends at Meganom, negatives from the box were scanned. We think that David would have liked the shots, taken from books of images on architectural and cultural statues, painting, sculpture and drawing. The film roll was infected by mould and partly destroyed, from which the negatives became covered in blue patches that sometimes coincide with the remains of the images.

Not only are negatives from David’s box presented at the exhibition, but also their prints that were all developed by hand. The negatives remind us of a time when David was at the center of the Moscow architectural world and his office was full of objects — sophisticated and sumptuous, expensive and superfluous, significant and meaningless. An uninterrupted stream of visitors flowed through, all of whom noted the refinement of the collection and the beauty of David rising out of and above these surroundings.


LOCATION Roza Azora Gallery

YEAR 2019

STATUS completed


EXHIBITION CONCEPT Alexander Brodsky, Yury Grigoryan, Taisia Osipova


GRAPHIC DESIGN Ivan Stepanenko

TRANSLATION Ben De Courcy Jones

LIGHTBOX Artsy Group

FURNITURE Alexander Volzhansky

FRAMES Premium Baget, ROOM34

We express our sincere gratitude to Kirill Asse, Vsevolod Babichuk, Alexey Buslenko, Evgeny Cherepanov, Natalia Dormidontova, Nadezhda Isaeva, Andrey Kirillov, Anatoly Korshunov, Anastasiya Lipatova, Oleg Oleinikov, Alexander Orlov, Anna Rudakova, Mikhail Shilokhov, and Gleb Soshnikov

We are thankful to the Roza Azora Gallery and its founders Lyubov Shaks and Elena Yazykova, and their team — Tatiana Voronina, Olga Yelshevskaya, Lyudmila Manchevskaya, and Nataliya Yugay

An exhibition catalogue 'Negatives' was published as part of the 'MGNM books' program by the Meganom office for architecture

ISBN 978-5-6040023-2-2

UDC 72(47+57)(084.121)

BBC 85.113ya6

Auth. sign N41