Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Seminars for Art Curators 2010 Report - Part One Posted by Michelle Kasprzak

Saturday, September 11. 2010 • Category: Musings

Recently I attended the Summer Seminars for Art Curators, which is hosted annually by AICA-Armenia. We spent three days in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, and a further four days in Ijevan, in the north near the border with Azerbaijan and Georgia. The themes of the two seminar events were “Aesthetic Communities and Contextual Translation of Communal Art” and “The Communal Function of a Monument”.

Armenia is a fascinating country, but I will not go into too much in detail about it here (I intend to post thoughts about Yerevan in particular on the Spacing Wire shortly). However, it must be said that the post-Soviet-ness of Yerevan is striking, and the beauty of the countryside is extraordinary. It was wonderful to get to see both Yerevan and Ijevan, and all the landscape and important points of interest in between. You can see my photos from the seminars and general sight-seeing on Flickr.
More on

Monday, August 9, 2010

5th Summer Seminars for Art Curators

Communities and Contextual Translation of Communal Art

August 15-20, 2010

Yerevan and Ijevan, Armenia

Participants: Elke Krasny/Armenak Grigoryan/Michelle Kasprzak/Karin Grigoryan/Sarah Rifky/Arevik Grigoryan/Patrycja Rylko/Marlène Perronet/Harutyun Alpetyan/Adnan Yildiz/Aykan Safoğlu/Carmen De Michele/Gor Engoyan/Nvard Yerkanian/Natuka Vatsadze/Liana Khachatryan/Viviana Checchia/Sona Melik-Karamyan/Ida Hirsenfelder/Pau cata i Marles/Taguhi Torosyan

Volunteers and free participants: Marine Hovsepyan/Shoair Mavlian/Özge Çelikaslan/ Tigran Grigoryan/Emanuele Braga/Maddalena Fragnito/Narek Tovmasyan/Marine Hovsepyan/ Ovsanna Hovsepyan/Haykuhi Avestisyan


Yerevan, 15.08-17.08

Aesthetic Communities[1]

15.08 Sunday

10:00-10:30 Opening Remarks and Introduction

10:30-12:00 Lecture

Dr. Margarita Tupitsyn

Russian Art as a Sisyphean Project

In 1990 I curated the exhibition The Work of Art in the Age of Perestroika, which was largely devoted to Moscow conceptual art. My reference to Walter Benjamin’s famous title made the claim that perestroika was a revolutionary moment capable of changing the fate of the Soviet neo-avantgarde the way the October Revolution had done with the historical avant-garde. Presented for the first time as seminal postwar movements in my exhibition Russian New Wave, Sots Art and Moscow conceptual art enjoyed a positive reception in New York, culminating in museum exhibitions in the years of perestroika. At the time, there was reason to believe that Soviet alternative art of the 1970s and 1980s had the chance to consolidate its position in the genealogy of international postwar culture. Paradoxically, twenty years later, under much more favorable conditions for the integration of models of national cultures, and amid a curatorial zeal (if only superficial) to consider national specificity, the status of Russian art both as historical and contemporary phenomena has lapsed.

In fact, global curators who take pride in their commitment to providing equal opportunities to artists of all nationalities, to the extreme of giving their mammoth exhibitions titles like Against Exclusion, remain far less enthusiastic about Russian cultural production than, say, Chinese, Indian, or African. Such an attitude may be categorized as a new Orientalism, a new West/East binary into which Russian culture barely fits. Moreover, the degree of referential debt assigned at the outset of modernism to Asia, Africa, and Russia (precisely in that order) has paradoxically remained intact. Under these circumstances, any serious presentation of a Russian artist or movement in the West is an absurd endeavor, a Sisyphean project, in which, to quote Albert Camus, ‘The struggle itself…is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy’. That said, in this paper I would discuss why I believe why I believe it’s worth pushing a boulder up a mountain for a little longer, even if only to see it roll down.

12:00-1:30 Lecture

Dr. Vardan Azatyan

Myths and Visions of Artistic Avant-gardes in Armenia

I discuss artistic avant-gardes in Armenia in connection with dominant nationalist and religious discourses that historically played and continue to play some crucial role in Armenian societies. By doing so, I situate perhaps the paradigmatic conception of contemporary art in Armenia – art as a strategy of living free – in structural connection with historical liberation visions and aspirations of Armenian people. My discussion shows that the avant-gardes however subversive (sometimes precisely because of their subversiveness) remain within the larger trajectories of dominant projects of political liberation.

I argue that contemporary art practices need to radically rethink their subverting strategies as directed against dominant discourses and strive for a strategy which would go beyond the logic of dominance and subversion however multilayered and nuanced are the terms by which this logic is conceived. I conclude the paper by suggesting a possible strategy for artistic avant-gardes in Armenia.

18:00- 20:00 Presentations

Marlène Perronet

The Tea Ceremony

Since twenty years, the TRAM network association federates about thirty art centers in the region Paris - Île de France. It aims “to promote contemporary art and to give to the largest possible number an access to our epoch's creation” (from the website). With an exception of one private foundation, these art centers are mainly associations, municipal and departmental corporations as well as two public art schools. This network weaved around Paris contributes to decentralize the cultural production at a regional level and, in this precise region which is all considered in the collective mind as a periphery of the main city, at the level of the suburbs (“banlieues”).

Such institutions give a great importance to “audiences” and reconcile them with forms they sometimes consider as provocations. They favor a direct presence of the artists, themselves regularly producing artworks especially for these places, their environment (off-site events) and contexts. At the scale of the exhibition length, processual forms integrate the dimension of speech, performances and experiments involving a transmission, or a relation with the visitors. I will try and analyze some shared tendencies among projects that took place in this regional network recently.

Elke Krasny

Notions of Transversality: Dialogues of Aesthetics, Ethics, Politics

The presentation focuses on four case studies to develop an aesthetic understanding and an analytical concept of how to create and interpret the specificity of artistic, curatorial and cultural production allowing for transversality by way of creating aesthetic communities. These case studies are "Macondo - Life on Earth in Vienna" by Cabula6 (2009), Bellevue. Das Gelbe Haus/The Yellow House in Linz by Peter Fattinger, Veronika Orso and Michael Rieper (2009), Het Blauwe Huis/The Blue House in Ijburg/Amsterdam by Jeanne van Heeswijk (2004-2009) and Annenviertel! The Art of Urban Intervention (curated by rotor association for contemporary art; curatorial team: Margarethe Markovec, Anton Lederer, Elke Krasny). Using my experience to unfold different perspectives, transversality is explored as an aesthetics of changing perception, creating spaces, places and situations for a dialogue overcoming the conventional boundaries of hierarchical structure and introducing shared territories and shared aesthetic experiences. Transversality of aesthetics, ehtics and politics and of all the actants involved is understood as a driving force for creating, re-reading, transforming or questioning the given within contexts and using contextualisation as a vehicle for change through aesthetic strategies.

Adnan Yıldız and Aykan Safoğlu

Artistic Dialog+ Curatorial Grammar

“AH OH” by ğ (soft g)

Berlin/Istanbul based curatorial collective u_gewill present their first project, “AH OH” an exhibition that is designed to develop a dialogue between LGBT organizations and contemporary art practitioners. Questioning some terms such as community, artistic dialogue, curatorial grammar, group identity, social responsibility, critical knowledge, identity, activism… within this experience, u_gewill also refer to some historical incidents, local references, and personal histories.

16.08 Monday

10:30-12:00 Lecture

Dr. Victor Tupitsyn

Seeing Through a Crack

Following the death of Lenin in 1924, there began a period of collectivization. The peasantry, which in pre-Revolutionary Russia had constituted the overwhelming majority of the population was, for the most part, forcibly recruited into collective farms or, in smaller numbers, wiped out or banished to distant regions of the country to perform forced labor. A significant number of others were compelled to migrate to urban areas. This phenomenon engendered a housing problem of enormous proportions. Stalin’s course was to exploit the situation so as to further his project of “de-individualizing” the consciousness and daily life of the Soviet people. City apartments, as provided by law, became as populous as anthills and beehives. Families of every variety, belonging to various social, national, and cultural-ethnic groups, were forced to cleave together in a single communal body. Such “uplotnenie” reached its climax when two or three different tenants had to live in one room. The inhabitants of the communal thermae (known as kommunalka) were drawn into a process of “serial” talking -- be it relatively harmless gossip or extreme cases of verbal abuse. Everything (including vision) was ruled by speech rituals. In short, communal vision can be defined as seeing through the eyes, or on behalf of the “collective other.” Caused by this optics, an individual ends up being treated as a baby glued to a societal mirror.

This observation can be applied to an exemplary infant terrible, placed in a global orphanage known as “art.” Self-perception as an eternal child harks back to a time when the burden of adulthood was placed on government bu­reaucracy. Everyone else was inculcated with the idea that “the only privileged class in the USSR is chil­dren.” Therefore, the prospect of the loss of such (class) pri­vileges, caused the tempo of matu­ration to slow down. Hence, the naive longing for accidents combined with the carnival-like (festive) perception of acts of violence: the conviction that “even dying is good if the world is watching” best illustrates this. Translated into the language of urban problems, immaturity is the ghetto, and those who came out of this ghetto often turned out to be the most zealous guard dogs of conven­tion and orthodoxy, the angelic host entrusted with protecting the authoritarian power.

Despite their chronological proximity, the contexts of childhood and youth are not metonymically close: unlike childhood, youth does not feel comfortable in the position of onlooker fascinated by the conflict and the unity of opposites. It is characterized by so­cial altruism, rebellion and an intolerance toward everything in­vested with “paternal” prerogatives. On the other hand, the ico­noclas­tic gesture does not befit childhood (eternal, stagnant child­hood), for which inertia and a taste for an apocalyptic vision of the world are “appropriate” ‑- whereas youth is aflame with a desire to alter the existing order of things. In other words, both youth and the youthful are missing from present-day world, where childhood and adulthood remain the principal psy­chosocial niches.

12:00-13:30 Talk and Round-Table: Curatorial Interventions

Sarah Rifky

Reconjugating the Curator-Function: a case study in curating contemporary art, thinking about cultural policy and producing publics in Cairo

The shifting functions of artist, critic, work of art and curator within contemporary artistic practices, are constantly demanding a re-evaluation and definition of the role and function of our practices. The traditional distinction between audience and producer no longer hold true. In contexts within which contemporary art practice, in its lateral definition, is still struggling for definition and grappling to expands its forms of engagement with its publics, how do we negotiate our curator-function? I propose to discuss a number of decisions within my own curatorial practice in the last year, within my current capacity as Curator at the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art in Cairo, an integral art institution founded in 1998, that contributed to the radical shift in expanding the potential of contemporary art practices in Cairo over the past decade, towards questioning curatorial-responsibility and the ‘task of the curator’ within that context. The case studies will include a recent exhibition held at the gallery, “Invisible Publics”. Through this example, I meditate on the experience of producing the Cairo Complaints Choir, an extension of the Complaints Choir project initiated by Oliver and Tellervo Kochta-Kalleinen in Helsinki in 2005. Furthermore, a delineation of proposals concerning the programming decisions in the upcoming year will be highlighted, including “Jump Cut Curate” towards insinuating the relevance of curating as a medium (as intermediate or agency), situated not only between the artist, art work, art space and public, but located and housed within the intricate practicalities that inform day-to-day cultural policy.

18:00- 20:00 Presentations (3)

Michelle Kasprzak

The Transient and Mutable Monument

Monuments are objects that cover a wide scope of possible formal categories including architecture, art, design, (and even performance), but they are grouped and defined as monuments by their intention and the ideas, events or persons that they honour. They engage a wide range of social and design issues in their execution, maintenance, and display.

My thoughts are very much inspired by the work of Estonian artist Kristina Norman, whose recent work explores the issues surrounding the Bronze Soldier monument in Tallinn. The Estonian government moved this monument from its prominent central location to a more remote place in 2007, prompting riots which were used to portray Russians negatively in the media. Two years later, Norman placed a full-sized replica of the Bronze Soldier in its former place, and created a quasi-documentary film that recorded the reactions, on both sides, to this intervention. Similarly, Antony Gormley’s recent work, One and Other on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London illustrated the importance of site for monuments more than the actual monument itself. Taken together, Norman and Gormley’s projects represent a uniquely contemporary re-thinking of the ways in which monuments can be viewed both as art objects and as modes of interaction for all.

My presentation will make the case for the development of speculative designs and/or instructions for a new unstable and impermanent monument, using common materials and raw human resources, which would be openly released and shared. Developing an “open source” monument design to be shared globally poses a unique challenge.

Joanna Warsza

The Logic of the Projects in the Public Realm: A Talk on Slalom between
a social involvement and the politics of the hidden agendas (based on my
curatorial practice)

Over the last tree years I commissioned projects on the ruins of the 10-th Anniversary Stadium in Warsaw and in ex-Warsaw Ghetto based on the critique of Israeli youth trips to Poland. Her work refers to the perception shifts, the unspoken and the ephemeral.

The 10th-Anniversary Stadium was built in 1955 from the rubble of war and
preserved Communism’s good name for forty years. In the early 1990s it fell into ruin, and was only revived by Vietnamese and Russian traders. Since then the area has become an open-air market, an Asian inner city, a primeval garden, a storehouse of urban legends, a piece of Land-Art, or a work camp for botanists. The heterotopic logic of the place and its long-standing (non-)presence in the city, inspired me to curate series of live art projects The Finissage of Stadium X and the related reader, Stadium X; A Place That NeverWas.

Public Movement from Israel together with Polish collaborators in April 2009 led a walk in the former Warsaw Ghetto, in the foot steps of Israeli and Jewish youth delegations. The starting point for the project was the hermetic and strictly ritualised procedures of Israeli Youth Delegations to Poland. Public Movement explores the political and aesthetic possibilities residing in the manifestations, spectacles or public marches. They invent and re-enact moments in the life of individuals, communities, social institutions, peoples or states.

Ida Hirschenfelder

Land Art in SFRJ – Reinterpreted Monuments

A specific party policy on artistic expression in Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ) has led to some astonishing artistic achievements. Although connected to the party authorities, these works had far surpassed any similar attempt of the artists to utilize the ideology in order to realise their own grandiose landscape architecture. In the past ten years when we were able to see these political landmarks from a contextual distance, several contemporary artists such as photographer Marko Lulić in Modernity in YU, David Maljković in Scene for a New Heritage (numbers 1 & 2, 2004 & 2006), Marijan Crtalić in Nevidljivi Sisak (2007-2010) or curatorial collective WHW on sculptor Vojin Bakić, have attempted to see beyond the obvious. These memorials to WWII have been frequently dubbed as ugly socialist landmarks, »following flat-footed abstract rhetoric crushed under its own weight«. However I will argue that such one-sided interpretation is of this monuments is merely a product of persistent political dualities of the cold war. The question that should be asked is how are the Land Art works by Robert Smithson from 60s and 70s any different from Bogdan Bogdanović’s primitive land marks? Are the public structures of Sol LeWitt any different from Vojin Bakić’s constructions? And why the formally superb sculptures by Miodrag Živković can be called »overblown and joy-killing Titost monuments«!? The initial idea for the ongoing project on SFRJ monuments is to reinterpret these landmarks through a series of photographic exhibitions and publication of a critical reader that would help to restore the decaying monuments which are not only the victims of time but also the victims of misunderstanding of their historical value.

17.08 Tuesday

Visit to art institutions in Yerevan

18:00 –20:00

Round-table discussion on cultural and institutional politics organized by Rene Gabri and Ayreen Anastas

18.08 Wednesday

Travel to Ijevan

Encounters on Borders

Summer Festival

August 18-21, Ijevan, Armenia

Organizers: Arevik Grigoryan/Armenak Grigoryan/Gor Yengoyan/Harutyun Alpetyan/Karin Grigoryan/Liana Khachatryan/Nazareth Karoyan/Nvard Yerkanian/Sona Melik-Karamyan/Taguhi Torosyan/Vahram Aghasyan

Volunteers and free participants: Anais Gyulbudaghyan, Ashkhen Minasyan, Elizabeth Torosyan, Sona Baghdasaryan, Tsovinar Ghazaryan, David Vardanyan, Vaghinak Ghazaryan,

In post-Soviet Armenia, the sweeping introduction of market economy along with numerous issues led also to disproportionate development of cultural life, with its hyper focus in the capital.

In terms of cultural production, Armenia’s palm-sized borders have begun to coincide with the borders of Yerevan’s center. These new dimension of, on one hand, geographical-territorial; on the other hand, symbolic imbalance is fraught with ontological dangers.

It’s vital to understand what is pursuing the decentralization of management in cultural life, which is happening globally everywhere. On the other hand, it’s necessary to train cultural operators who will be capable of developing and implementing programs which mark this change in cultural management paradigm.

AICA Armenia’s Art Criticism and Curatorial Training educational program is reflecting to the fore-mentioned issues. Receiving theoretical knowledge, the students have simultaneously initiated and are implementing Encounters on Borders Summer Festival of Community Art which is their final work. The presented projects are united by the interest towards the social and historical scale, and figurative aspects of urban environment.

Previously industrial, and now a carrier of students’ and touristic capacity, Ijevan holds the necessary historical experience required for the revival of cultural life. :

The most notable was the International Symposium of Sculpture, which heretofore continues to recall the vision of turning Ijevan into a venue of cultural initiatives, carried out by the cultural and administrative workers of the late Soviet era.

Time will tell whether it’s possible to revive that future-intended notion amongst today’s Ijevan residents. Encounters on Borders festival has been designed with that hope in mind.


Ijevan, 18.08-21.08

19:00-20:00 Exhibition Opening (Ijevan gallery)


The subtlety of transition times is arduous to gin in twilight. This is a tense of dusk and chiaroscuro when it seems that the body movements are in slow motion.

Catching sight of transition cracks is also complicated in social reality, when everything is changing very fast. The individual seems to appear in a trap between two political systems; one of the formers is a zombie, a remnant in social memory, and the other simulates visions and legends of future.

In such positions of fragile transitions the artist’s role becomes crucial; one appears as an actor of paradigm changes, proposing them to the attention of wide social formations.

But in order to fix this transformation the subject is compelled to bustle from one community and identity to another. By unfolding and occupying the cracks emerging between different territories, between “before” and “after”, the artist gives birth to new subjectivities, new urban identities.

Those are the flexible characters who mark and at the same time blur the borderlines between times and regions.

Artists: Mher Azatyan, Tigran Khachatryan, Norayr Chilingaryan

21:00 Open Air Concert

Mano Grigoryan: Pogo Right/Pincet group (Sculpture garden)

19.08 Thursday

10:00-11:30 Lecture

Julian Vigo

Public Art in Haiti: The Goudou Goudou and the Museum of Disaster Relief

Haiti’s earthquake killed approximately 300,000 people, among of which were hundreds of fine artists, metal sculptors and artisans whose living depended upon the sales of souvenirs sold to foreigners. The earthquake of January 12, referred to as the Goudou Goudou, broke down the divisions between what had been seen previously as elite artists and their artisan counterparts, and as such the schism between high and low art.

After the Goudou Goudou, scavenging the thousands of piles of debris by children and young men was a task of survival and pulling the metal out of the rubble to craft lawn chairs, souvenirs of local flora, the transformation from metal rod to a voudou god, or the placement of a crushed car in the middle of a road all became occasions for celebrating life after death and for conterminously commemorating death through life. News reports told of thousands of paintings destroyed in the Centre d’Art, College Saint Pierre, Musée Galerie d’Art Nader on Rue

Bouvreuil and the destruction of the Cathédrale Sainte-Trinité which all housed valuable artworks such as those of Haitian masters Hector Hyppolite, Philome Obin, Prefete Duffaut and Wilson Bigaud. Yet, the true loss of Haiti cannot not be measured through the numbers of buildings or artworks as the devastation of life took center stage. The recuperation of Haitian art quickly became conflated with the spirit of humanitarian projects on the ground and as a result artwork in Haiti was repositioned in the world theater through its sale and collection now rendered

“fundraising.” Internet sites such as “Haitian Earthquake Relief Art Sale” put artworks on virtual auction announcing that proceedings would be “donated to the relief efforts”, and the Smithsonian set up a camp in a former UNDP building to restore the lost art. In this way Haitian art was recast on the world scene as an art of tragedy and the Goudou Goudou gave birth to the museum of disaster relief in the context of communal art.

My paper will examine the nexus between developmental models utilized by humanitarian NGOs on the ground in Haiti and the recuperation of Haitian art through the similar networks which attempt to save Haitian art as if a human life. My work questions the relationship between public spectatorship and communal art and likewise interrogates the problematic ties between the international interception and mediation, local construction and consumption of these pieces, and the representational force of this art. Ultimately, I call into question the representational form of communal monuments and their co-optation under the guise of development or aid.

What are the implications for treating Haitian art through human rights and political discourse? How can communities continue to produce art when the bottom line of art to be sold to an international audience must maintain a narrative of disaster, or at the very least, tangentially through a meta-discourse which consistently deterritorializes disaster in the framework of relief and humanitarian aid? Most importantly, is it possible that this artwork produced since the Goudou Goudou comes to represent the local communities’ relationship to their own history, their own memory, and even their own death without bearing the traces of disaster relief?

12:00-14:00 Panel Discussion

Art criticism and curatorial training school

"1985-1991 Ijevan Sculpture Symposium.Post Factum" (Business Center)

By stressing the importance of cultural decentralization policy and the necessity of reinterpretation of public memory, the graduates/alumni of Art Criticism and Curatorial Training School are inviting you to take part in a panel discussion on a sculpture symposium that was held in Ijevan during 1985-1991 and the heritage it left to the city.

15:00-17:00 Presentations (4): Anthropology of the Communal

Pau Cata i Marles

Theory as Practice: A Creative Practitioner-based Research on CASAMARLES’ Local Context

The focus of this presentation, which more precisely could be qualified as an experiment, is to undertake a researcher-based exercise using a self-analytical methodology to investigate one’s own experience of lived place and space. Its aim is to break down acquired theoretical knowledge while testing its usability. This self-analysis is conducted by creatively documenting and critically commenting on a series of ordinary activities and local rituals in the context of Llorenc del Penedes: the village where I grow up and where I have been living for the last three months. These activities and rituals have marked the researcher’s ‘everydayness’ when living in CASAMARLES, an interdisciplinary living and working space for creativity and cultural research developed since January 2008. Paying special attention to non-artists, the documentary and presentation will attempt to describe everyday, un-important and subtle activities and tricks used by individuals and collectives of my village in order to underline the relevance of the different strategies used in the creation of a sense of belonging, in short a sense of ‘locality’.

Carmen De Michele

Tepito: Art in the “Rough Neighbourhood”

Tepito is, without exaggertion, the most famous neighborhood in Mexico. This small area north of the Historic Center in Mexico City is better known as the “Barrio Bravo“, the “rough neighborhood“. It is the legendary home of thieves, prostitutes, gangsters and also the cradle of several world-champions in boxing.

Living in Tepito is a way of life”, its dwellers claim. Many of them have never left their “barrio“.In late 1970s, a group of artists decided to give Tepito a public identity through their art. They fouded “Tepito Arte Acá“. Inspired by the highly political art of the muralist movement in the 1920s, their work focused on the “tepiteños“ and their struggles. They were the first of many artists of that neighborhood who tried to catalyze their anger and discontent through art.

Tepito is changing. A large influx of immigrants pour in from the nearby city of Neza. They work in the markets and start altering the life in the “barrio”. A group of young artists has become the new voice of the “rough neighborhood“. They significantly call themselves “Neza Arte Nel“.

Natuka Vacadze

From Apt Art to Art in the Apartment

My friends and I created an art group in Georgia which we called Bouillon. It produces performances, actions and artistic interventions in public space. The main focus of our activities is investigation of the space and adaptation of art works to non artistic spaces. The group made series of apartment exhibitions using private space for performance, happenings and installations. In contrary of soviet apartment exhibitions where the private space played the role of the gallery for presenting unofficial artworks, Bouillon group’s use of the private space underlines the artistic importance of the non artistic space itself. First we search for a space that becomes motivation for our artworks.

My presentation concerns the apartment exhibition series arranged as underground activities in Soviet times in South Caucasus and other Soviet republics and post-Soviet apartment series as artistic interventions in non-artistic spaces. If possible, I would like to work with a group of artists in Armenia who are interested in private space interventions and make a project of an apartment exhibition as a final result of the Summer Seminars for Curators.

Ruben Arevshatyan

Red Thread e-Journal

The project Red Thread is envisioned as an active network and platform for exchange of knowledge and collaboration of artists, curators, social scientists, theorists and cultural operators from the Balkans, the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa, and beyond. It aims to create and widely disseminate new knowledge about paradigmatic socially engaged art practices in a wide geopolitical context, thus challenging the predominance of Western narratives in official art histories and exhibition making. Through initiating research, meetings, panel discussions and an active online site for exploring both historical and contemporary approaches that deepen and challenge broader relations of art and society, Red Thread intends to reopen the issues of joint modernist legacies and histories between various so-called "marginal" regions, and attempts to create new approaches to deal with questions of auto-histories, self-positioning and reinterpretation of art history.

The title of the project indicates a critical cultural and artistic engagement that has been present in the peripheral zones of the European modernistic project in different conceptual manifestations since the 1960s, when the crisis of the project of Western monolith high modernism in its relation to ideas of social progress became apparent. Metaphorical meaning of the expression 'red thread' suggests not only way out of labyrinth, but also a fragile, elastic link between different intellectual, social and artistic experimentations that share a desire for social change and the active role of culture and art in this process.

17:30-18:00 Presentation

Nvard Yerkanian, Harutyun Alpetyan

The City: Borders and Definitions” workshop

(Between students of Yeravan Open University and Yerevan State University, Ijevan Brach)

Despite being a product of human activity, “the city” scarcely goes in for definitions. On one hand, it introduces itself as a whole system; on the other hand, it seems as if it’s constantly trying to hide its underlying binary principle. This principle is manifested in various phenomena: in architectural solutions, social relations, and different psychological processes. The presence of opposing processes in balance already refers to the existence of the city. However, it doesn't come to those contrasts being in balance: the city itself gives birth to unbalanced states.

Civilization, civility and politics: in the context of these paradigms, the concept of citizenship refers more to the subject’s social space rather than the physical space of its existence; that is, the habitat. The initial stage of being conscious of oneself as a citizen is the realization of the urban context in which the individual has appeared. Subsequently, the subject repositions himself with respect to the given context, specifying demands and responsibilities in one's environment, since, as a point of support; it also has the perception of the other in its mind.

What are the factors by which reorientation and self-consciousness are conditioned? Where do mine end and the other’s - begin? Is it (somehow) possible, to follow that process? These practical lessons aim at outlining various paths to approach these issues. Yerevan and Ijevan will become those other environments where the city’s borders and definitions are played out.

19:00-20.00 Presentation by Yuri Manvelyan (Ijevan gallery)


21:00 Film program

(Sculpture Garden)

20.08, Friday

10.00-11.30 Round table

Moderated by Eva Khachatryan


12:00-13:30 Talk and Round-Table: Curatorial Interventions

Ida Hirshenfelder

SCCA- World of Art Curatorial Course

14.00-15.00 Presentation

Gagik Charchyan (Business centre)

(Intermediate positions)


General Round-Table (House of Culture)

19.00-20.00 “Inwards” context responsive art exhibitions (next to the ropeway building)

The group project designed for the theoretical discussions, workshops and lectures section of the festival can be considered as an artistic performance and intervention. By penetrating into the citiscape of Ijevan, we wish to shape a new attitude towards public art. The event is aimed at turning the outlook of city residents inwards, towards the space they are living in by raising public issues which heretofore have been invisible.

Inwards is a group event; the projects are independent/autonomous and based on personal experiences of the authors.


Sona Abgaryan/Susan Amujanyan/Manan Torosyan/Natuka Vacadze/ Temo Kartvilishwili/Koka Kitiashvili/Zura Kikvadze/Garik Yengibaryan/Edgar Amroyan/Tigran Araqelyan/Arev Arakelian/Gor Yengoyan

(8.00-13.00 Inward (optional)

Walk tour with Gor Engoyan along Ijevan-Tsltan non-functioning ropeway)

The touristic paths are the most preferable cultural and social layers; churches, landscapes, etc. And what can the unrealized tourist roots and their traces show? Ijevan‘s half-built ropeway station carried out in the 80‘s is attractive by its unfinished form, but at the same time it refers to current socio-political instability in Armenia. The station should hav been connected to the recreation zone called "Tsltan" ; this route is now passable only by feet and cross-country vehicle. A few ha were deforested for the purpose of building the upper station. The volunteer expedition will move from inner to the upper station, examining the traces of the corrupt project, inaugurating the route estimated for the ropeway and symbolically continuing the process of its construction.

21:00 Open-Air Concert

Arni Rock & Apricota (Sculpture Garden)

21.08, Saturday

Visit to historical sites of Tavush region


Summer school


President of AICA-Armenia, co-founder of Summer Seminars for Art Curators

Nazareth Karoyan

Member of AICA-Armenia, co-founder of Summer Seminars for Art Curators

Angela Harutyunyan

Coordination and communication

Marianna Hovhannisyan

PR and Documentation

Karin Grigoryan



Transkaukazja Embassy of France in Armenia

[1] Breakfast is provided at 9:30, and lunch break is at 1:30.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Մամլո հաղորդագրություն

ԱԻԿԱ–Հայաստան (Արվեստի քննադատների ազգային ասոցիացիա)
Արվեստի կուրատորների ամառային սեմինարներ. Հինգերորդ թողարկում

Գեղագիտական համայնքներ եւ համայնքային արվեստի կոնտեքստուալ թարգմանություն
Օգոստոսի 15-20, 2010 Երևան, Իջևան

Արվեստի Քննադատների ազգային ասոցիացիայի ամառային սեմինարների ամենամյա ծրագիրն իրականացվում է SCCA-Ljubljana–ի, Ստամբուլի «BM Suma» կենտրոնի, Ալմա–Աթայի SCCA-Alma-Aty կենտրոնի ու Կահիրեի «Townhouse» պատկերասրահի հետ համագործակցությամբ: Ամառային սեմինարը միավորում է տարբեր համատեքստերում գործող արվեստի համադրողներին` դասախոսությունների, գործնական սեմինարների, շնորհանդեսների եւ արվեստի տարածքներ այցելությունների եւ այլ միջոցառումներով:

Հինգերորդ ամառային սեմինարի թեմատիկ ընդհանուր շրջանակը արվեստային համայնքների ու համայնքային արվեստի ներկայացման հարցն է։ Բարձրացվող հարցերի թվում են արվեստի ընկալման գործում կոնտեքստուալ թարգմանության խնդիրը, այն դեպքում, երբ արվեստի գործն արտադրվել է ներկայից տարբեր տարածաժամանակային ու գաղափարաբանական պայմաններում։ Ո՞րն է ընկալման քաղաքականության մեջ կուրատորի դերն ու նշանակությունը։ Կարո՞ղ է արդյոք այլ պայմաններում ստեղծված գործը ներկայում ծավալվող դիսկուրսների մաս կազմել մեկնաբանության միջոցով։ Ի՞նչ կարգավիճակում է հայտնվում արվեստի գործը, երբ նպատակադրված ուղերձն ու հանդիսատեսն այլևս չկան։
Սեմինարի ծրագիրը բաղկացած է ամենօրյա դասախոսություններից, քննարկումներից եւ շնորհանդեսներից։ Տեսական մասը տեղի կունենա Երեւանում, օգոստոսի 15-17-ը: Սեմինարի երկրորդ եւ գործնական մասը պատրաստել են Արվեստի նախագծման ծրագրի շրջանավարտները: Ի թիվս այլ գործունեությունների` ասոցիացիան իրականացնում է կրթական այլընտրանքային` «Մշակութային նախագծում և լուսաբանում» 10-ամսյա դասընթացը: Առաջիկա 3 տարվա ընթացքում դասընթացը հավակնում է դառնալ հետբակալավրական կրթական ծրագիր` արվեստի համակարգողների եւ արվեստի լրագրության գծով։ Այսպես, «Հուշարձանի համայնքային ֆունկցիան» խորագրի ներքո նախատեսվող ցուցադրություններն ու քննարկումներն Իջեւանում կընթանան օգոստոսի 18-20-ը:

Արվեստի քննադատների ազգային ասոցիացիայի (ԱԻԿԱ-Հայաստան) գործունեության ամփոփ նկարագիր

Արվեստի քննադատների ազգային ասոցիացիան հիմնադրվել է 2005 թվականին: Աշխատում է Հայաստանում արվեստի քննադատության զարգացման, արվեստագետի եւ հանրության փոխհաղորդակցության, արվեստի քննադատի արդի խնդիրների, քննադատի դերի բարձրացման խնդիրների շուրջ: 2005 թվականին Մեծ Բրիտանիայի Պլիմուտի համալսարանի մասնագետների հետ կազմակերպել է մեկօրյա դասընթաց` կոլոքվիում, Երևանում կայացած «Հանրային ոլորտ. Վիճարկման և վերըմբռնման միջև» վերնագրով եռօրյա գիտաժողովի արդյունքում նկարահանվել է վավերագրական ֆիլմ և հրատարակվել գիտաժողովի նյութերի ամփոփ ժողովածու: 2006- 2007 թվականներին մշակվել և ստեղծվել է արվեստի համակարգողների երևանյան ամառային միջազգային դպրոցը: 2008 թվականին կազմակերպվել է Արվեստի քննադատների ազգային ասոցիացիայի գործունեությունը խթանող համաժողով: Այդ ժամանակահատվածում մշակվել և Գյումրիի 6-րդ Բիենալեի շրջանակում իրականացվել է ցուցահանդեսային ուսումնական մի նախագիծ: