Progress / Armenia dreams gasoline

In 2001, the rural highways of Armenia were lined with a bizarre proliferation of near-empty, brand-new neon gas stations, whose ubiquity was made all the more mysterious by the observable fact that most Armenians still bought their gasoline from the backs of illegal vendors’ trucks. In Armenia dreams gasoline the stations are juxtaposed with a tableau enacted on the Yerevan Steps, which would have stretched from the central plaza of the city to the World War II monument on the hill above it if the fall of the Soviet Union had not halted the construction and left both steps up and steps down suspended over a void of air. Originally shown (when commissioned by the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art in Yerevan) as a two-channel projection with the video Progress (RT 14:00), which documents the upward climb of a dangerously rickety chair-lift excursion on an Armenian mountainside.

Mariam Ghani, Armenia dreams gasoline film still
Still from Armenia dreams gasoline (RT 3:10), 2001