Leran Vogin
The Spirit of the Mountain

(ISBN: 978-0-9845549-2-8)
2013 New York
130 pages
Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Language(s): Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian

Additional Artists

Leran Vokin is a vivid, fast-paced chronicle of Kardash’s work, interwoven with his thoughts on art, cross-cultural dialogue, and the diverse dimensions of spirituality. The book starts with the rich tapestry of the world of his parents, survivors of the Genocide, and culminates in a chapter titled “The First Stone,” in which Kardash writes: “Today I realize that the wall which encloses Gaza is not meant to prevent Palestinian terrorists from entering Israel, but rather to keep the Israelis from getting out of their extended ghetto, and, God forbid, attempting a thoroughly unscripted, genuinely constructive, and ultimately spiritual transference with their Palestinian neighbors.” The titular term “voki” (spirit) is a key concept throughout the book. As expounded by the author, the term symbolizes a certain audacity to go against the grain, do away with the sacred cows, and cross cultural borders in order to bring about mutual understanding and synergies. “Voki” in Kardash’s lexicon also represents a lifelong quest for spiritual simplicity informed by a conscientious esthetic of survival: to produce things that are both useful and beautiful, often by hand; to create artworks and projects which speak directly to the principle of the quaternary (the principle of four which is seen by the author as being at the heart of all life); to mentor the young, imparting a sense of responsible independence and initiative; to take daring actions that embrace “the other;” and to relentlessly expose hatred and prejudice disguised as tradition or political necessity. “I like describing my work as that of a universalist madman,” Kardash says. “You need to be a bit mad to think — and act — out of the box.”

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