Monday, October 10, 2011

ART: An ‘Intersection of Parallels’ in Yerevan (

A weekend of discussions, lectures and presentations as part of an international contemporary art seminar titled “Intersection of Parallels” is set to take place in Yerevan from Oct. 14–16.

According to the event’s
Facebook page, organizers hope to create a new international network of alternative institutions of contemporary art.

The need for an international network of contemporary art institutions is explained through organizers’ depiction of the art scene in Armenia following the collapse of the Soviet Union:

“After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in [the] 90s, Armenia was going through difficult times by appearing in blockade and isolation, followed by economical breakdowns. Strangely enough the artistic scene has got some achievements at a time. There had been an institutional boom in Armenia, the institutions were emerging one after the other, but soon some of them were close[d] down or are going through financial difficulties at the moment. In this kind of situation there was a necessity of creating new organizations for the development of contemporary art for both the educational and exhibition practice purposes.

“Contemporary art in Armenia continues to be as marginalized, that explains the complete financial independence of the contemporary art from the government: none of now-existing organizations of contemporary art is supported by the state; all of them exist due to international foundations and local enthusiasts. In this situation we need the experience of similar non-profit organizations [and] artistic groups abroad who can introduce their strategy, tactics of existence, through which we can create a new international network of alternative institutions of contemporary art.”

Organizers hope that such a network will develop programs such as residencies for artists and curators in countries which are members of this network. “The continuous exchange of professionals (artists and curators) from different countries will contribute to the cross-cultural development and institutional diversity of contemporary art.”

The founding member countries of the network are Armenia, Georgia and Germany.

The weekend seminar, coordinated by independent curator Eva Khachatryan, will include the following lecturers, presenters and facilitators:
Ruben Arevshatyan (Armenia), Anna Barseghian (Utopiana, Armenia/Switzerland), Wibke Behrens (NGBK, New Society for Visual Arts, Germany), Berit Fischer (Germany), Susanna Gyulamiryan (Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory, Armenia), Nazareth Karoyan (AICA Armenia), Art Laboratory artists’ collective (Armenia), Azat Sargsyan (Gyumri Center of Contemporary Art, Armenia), Sophia Tabatadze (GeoAIR, Georgia), Wato Tsereteli (Center of Contemporary Art – Tbilisi, Georgia).

The seminar will take place in Yerevan at the
Suburb Cultural Center (Mekhitar Sebastatsi Eduactional Complex, Media Center, 57 Raffi St.), the Cafesjian Center for the Arts (Cascade Complex), and The Club (40 Tumanyan St.).

The program is as follows:

October 14
Suburb Cultural Center
held in English

11:00 – opening remarks by Eva Khachatryan
11:10 – round of introductions by participants

11:40 – Ruben Arevshatyan: “Contemporary art institutions in Armenia as self-organizing structures”
12:20 – Nazareth Karoyan: “Institute for Contemporary Art: between education and production”
13:00 – Discussion
15:00 – Visit to ACCEA (Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art) and Cafesjian Center for the Arts

Presentations at Cafesjian Center for the Arts (translation into Armenian and English)
18:00 – Wato Tsereteli “Initiative – The Aesthetics in Social Settings”
19:00 – Azat Sargsyan “On International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Gyumri” (via Skype)
20:00 – Discussion

October 15
Suburb Cultural Center
held in English

10:00 – Wibke Behrens: “What’s love got to do with it? Workshop for institutional non- believers”
14:00 – Susanna Gyulamiryan: “The Marginalization of the Mainstream and the Debacle of the Marginal (that of the mainstream)”
14: 40 – Anna Barseghian “Imagination as an institution”
15: 20 – Discussion
16:00 – Visit to the Yerevan Museum of Modern Art

Presentation at The Club (translation into Armenian and English)
18:00 – Berit Fischer “On Other Possible Worlds / Proposals on this Side of Utopia”
19:00 – Discussion

October 16
Suburb Cultural Center
held in English

10:00 – Sum up of the previous days, discussions and decision making concerning the network and programs which can be part of that network.
14:00 – Visit to AICA Armenia and AJZ space

Presentations at The Club (translation into Armenian and English)
18:00 – Sophia Tabatadze “GeoAIR activities”
19:00 – Art Laboratory artists’ collective
20:00 – Discussion

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