Modern Armenia comprises only a small portion of ancient Armenia, one of the world’s oldest centres of civilization. At its height, Armenia extended from the south-central Black Sea coast to the Caspian Sea and from the Mediterranean Sea to Lake Urmia in present-day Iran. Ancient Armenia was subjected to constant foreign incursions, finally losing its autonomy in the 14Th Century. The centuries-long rule of Ottoman and Persian conquerors imperiled the very existence of the Armenian people. Eastern Armenia was annexed by Russia during the 19th Century; western Armenia remained under Turkish rule, and in 1894–96 and 1915 Turkey perpetrated systematic massacres and forced deportations of Armenians, (Part I, Part III).
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo: STANDART Triennial of Contemporary Art Archive
The 1st edition of “STANDART”, the Triennial of Contemporary Art in Armenia, in special partnership with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, is held in Armenia from July to December 2017. The name of the Triennial is inspired by the avant-garde Armenian magazine “Standard”, published in 1924. STANDART highlights the rich cultural and historical context of Armenia. Through its itinerant character it involves wider and diverse communities and creates opportunities for dialogue and interactive relationship between artists, writers, curators, scientists, local communities, and visitors. The title of the 1st edition of the Triennial is taken by the unfinished novel “The Mount Analogue”, by the French surrealist writer and poet René Daumal, the Triennial takes place in various locations across the Mount Ararat region and aims to build a bridge between the specific venues and the artworks presented and create an interactive dialogue with the participating artists and curators coming from different backgrounds. It also seeks to develop exchanges and collaborations with Armenia’s lively art and cultural scene. The Triennials first part takes place from 24/7-31/12/17 at Yerevan with “Distant Fragments”, a retrospective of the modernist Brazilian photographer Gaspar Gasparian at AGBU, “20 Ways to get an Apple listening to the Music of Mozart and Concert for a Fly” and “Concert for a Fly” by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov at Klorner. In “20 Ways to get an Apple listening to the Music of Mozart”, the viewer sees an enormous table occupying a disproportionate space in a room. Exactly in the middle of the table there is a plate with an apple lying on it, though impossible to reach. The music of Mozart, can be heard in the room. The texts lying to the right of the plates tell about and explain a way to get the apple. Each time, this way is new and unexpected: philosophical, linguistic, magical, technological, psychological, political, etc. Each way is described in extraordinary detail and very seriously, and in a certain sense, all of this taken together, all 20 ways represent a small encyclopaedia of all possible way of appropriation except of course the most simple way: to grab it with your hand and take it. Artworks, performances and workshops created in collaboration with the art community of Gyumri by: Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri, Riccardo Arena, Benji Boyadgian, Giuseppe Caccavale, Marta Dell’Angelo, Thibault de Gialluly, Aleksey Manukyan, Mikayel Ohanjanyan, Gohar Smoyan, and Maria Tsagkari, among others, at the Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life and at the Sergey Merkurov Museum. Also a curatorial collaboration is held at the Museum of Aslamazyan Sisters, where a selection of the works of the two sisters will interface works by: Francis Alÿs, Gohar Martirosyan, and Rosana Palazyan, among others and short movies produced by ART for The World by: Mulari Nair, Idrissa Ouédraogo, Jafar Panahi, and Jia Zhang-Ke. the second part opens 0n 12-14/12/17 with “Felice Varini” a site-specific installation at the Central Railway Station in Erebuni (Yerevan) and at Sevan Lake with “Déjà vu STANDARD”, video installations by Gerard Byrne, Josef Dabernig, Igor Grubić, and Markus Scherer, and architectural projects by Levon Cherkezyan, Gevorg Kochar, and Mikael Mazmanyan at Writers’ Resort.
Info: Curator: Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg, Associate Curator: Ruben Arevshatyan, Duration 24/7-31/12/17, Venues & Hours: 1. YEREVAN: Hay-Art Cultural Center, 7a M. Mashtots Av. (Mon-Sat 11:00-17:00, 2. AGBU, 2/2 Melik Adamyan St. (Tue-Sun 11:00-17:00 and 3. Central Railway Station Building, Sevan Street, Erebuni, GYUMRI: 1. Museum of National Architecture & Urban Life, 47 Haghtanaki Av., (Tue-Sat 11:00-17:30, Sun 11:00-16:00), 2. Sergey Merkurov Museum, 47 Haghtanaki Av. (Tue-Sat 11:00-17:30, Sun 11:00-16:00) and 3. Museum of Aslamazyan Sisters, 242 Abovyan St., (Tue-Sun 11:00-17:00), SEVAN LAKE: Writers’ Resort, Peninsula, Sevan, www.standart-armeniatriennale.net