Cafesjian Center for the Arts   »   Cafesjian Teen Council   »   Thirty Steps to the 3-rd Floor


Thirty Steps to the 3-rd Floor

May 20, 2017
In the wake of discussions and criticism raised at the All-Union Youth Exhibition of 1986, a group of dissident artists whose creative approaches and ideas were rejected by the Soviet apparatus had the chance to organize an exhibition at the Artists’ Union of Armenia. Its opening was held on April 10, 1987, at the conference room of the third floor of the Artists’ Union. The representative core of the exhibition was constituted by Armenia’s underground avant-garde groups formed back in the late 70s and early 80s, as well as individuals. It outgrew into an artistic movement, which would have a decisive role in the further development of Armenia’s contemporary art and the adoption of new practices.

The exhibition title referred to the location of the exhibition, - the third floor of the Artists’ Union, and the movement would later come under that name, the 3-rd Floor.

The first exhibition of 1987, which lasted six days, was followed by meetings and active discussions about art with representatives of avant-garde music and literature, cinema and fine arts. The success of the exhibition and the strong response paved a way towards the institutional domain of the Artists’ Union for many participating artists, contributing to further expansion of the group's free activities and public representativeness.

Along with exhibitions, the most important forms of self-expression of the 3-rd Floor group were regularly published manifestos, which formulated their basic ideology and the criteria that established the grounds for their art.

According to a retrospective characterization by the artists of the movement, the 3-rd Floor became an area of “fresh breath,” which reformulated the criteria of freedom in Armenian art and the creative capabilities of individuals who defined those criteria.

The Thirty Steps to the 3-rd Floor exhibition has been organized within the scope of the Cafesjian Teen Council project. It was aimed at retrospectively introducing the documentary of the group’s activities through archive photos and video, as well as manifestos, and at the same time creating  a communication platform between the 3-rd Floor group artists and the teenagers involved.

Video footage has been filmed within the frame of the project with participation of the group artists, who re-enact the premises for the creation and establishment of the group and its major achievements, from a distance of thirty years.
The exhibition also includes a manifesto by the members of the Cafesjian Teen Council, for whom the activities of the 3-rd Floor and their meetings with the artists were a source of inspiration.

Given that the 3-rd Floor movement was open to all expressions of art, visitors of the Thirty Steps to the 3-rd Floor exhibition are free to leave their definitions about art on the poster located in the gallery.
You can also visit our YouTube Channel

Other materials from this section

  • The Cafesjian Teen Council Talk Series
    The Cafesjian Teen Council presents another one of its projects – “The Cafesjian Teen Council Talk Series.” Within the scope of this series, the members of the Council have sat down with different representatives of the art community and talked about the topics they are interested in.
    December 11, 2018February 12, 2019
    One of the best ways to relax during the summer heat is watching a good movie in a cool place.
    July 12, 2018October 04, 2018
    What is an art studio - a closed intimate space, which belongs only to the artist, or a “factory”, where the mind and material of the time are crystalized? The Art Studio project presented nine photo stories about ten Armenian contemporary artists, exploring the “sacral space” of the selected artists through the eyes of the Cafesjian Teen Council members.
    February 23, 2018June 03, 2018
  • Teens Invite Educational Project
    Within the scope of the project, a series of meetings took place with the representatives of the different branches of modern Armenian art: Filmography – Diana Kardumyan; Music – Vahagn Hayrapetyan; Photography – Nazik Armenakyan; Meeting with the “3-rd Floor”; Theatre – Vahan Badalyan; Literature – Armen Ohanyan.
    June 03, 2017June 17, 2017
1  |  2
CCA Takes Part in European Heritage Days 2021
Build your culture, be involved, become a member! Become a member at CCA today and enjoy the benefits it offers – free admission to the galleries, discounts at the Museum Store and much more…