DAVID SARKISYAN

The way David Sarkisyan performed
his activities was the way of art.

He had an anarchic vein and dismissed all the rules for a director of a museum
and his idea of a museum has always gone beyond the museum walls. He didn’t accept conventions and was a strong defender of architecture. His mission was always to fight for architecture and avoid cultural catastrophes.

When everything was changing and moving in Russia, after the end of the Soviet Union, David Sarkisyan took charge in the MUAR. When many private adventurers wanted to take over the most important monuments of the avant-garde architecture, he unbendingly defended them in a way nobody else could have done. For example the Melnikow House, the Manesh Hall – and many others.

Under his administration the MUAR the MUAR has become an institution providing decisive impulses in the field of urban development and initiating debates that focus on and publicize radical breaks in the cityscape. Since more than 15 years the MAK cooperated with the MUAR. The collaboration between the two museums has, among other things, resulted in a number of joint exhibitions such as

“The Tyranny of the Beautiful: Architecture during the Stalin Era” (1994),
“Heaven’s Gift” (2001), and “Alexander Rodchenko. Spatial Constructions” (2005).

Committed to the merging of tradition and experiment, both institutions have always been clearly aware of the significance of cultural heritage. But an approach limited to the level of preservation will inevitably lead to a conservative attitude to be avoided, as David Sarkisyan always did.

He has not only been the Curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale, but has been esteemed by all architects as a tower of strength.

Excerpts from Peter Noever’s funeral speech for David Sarkisyan
Friday, January 15, 2009, Moscow

Interview with David Sarkisyan

Interview in David Sarkisyan’s Moscow office

Interview: Christiane Bauermeister
Montage: Sergey Garkavyy
MUAR video-archive, 2009

Links

The Keeper of Moscow’s Architectural Conscience
By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF, New York Times, Published: January 27, 2010

David Sarkisyan, Champion of Moscow Architecture, Dies at 62
By SOPHIA KISHKOVSKY, New York Times, Published: January 19, 2010

Style over kitsch: the four lives of David Sarkisyan
by Clementine Cecil, openDemocracy , 24 March 2010

Additional photographs of David Sarkisyan’s Lying-in-state ceremony