France & Armenia. Biennale di Venezia 2015.

The incredible French exception :

after 44 years in France I feel very French when I see such magnificence as the French Pavilion’sRevolutions” presented by the  artist Celeste Boursier-Mougenot and curated by EMMA LAVIGNE at the Biennale 2015 ( “All the world s future”  curated by African -American Okwui Enwezor)

I feel very proud to see French technology and science put to work for art. It is indeed a revolution as the title of the piece indicates.  The trees are majestic and silent… you can see them almost smiling with satisfaction.

The discourse that our Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin delivered at the inauguration was outstanding, erudite, and philosophical ….. Which I felt indicated France’s cultural and educational engagement in the world.  The work could have been used and compromised by a political discourse but it was not and that was a flagrant dissimilarity with her colleague ministers from other countries.

Sans titre

Visitors can immerse or float in the harmonic continuum of this ocean of sounds contemplating and dreaming . The passage of clouds in the sky, the trees rustling foliage a true moment with nature in the chaos of the Biennale preview.  The organic and acoustic island invented by Celeste Boursier-Mougenot seems the only work at the biennale that effectively puts us in touch with nature while reaffirming its contemporaneity and the ecological dimension that underlies it.

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Sans titre2

Armenity/Hayoutioun

The National Pavilion of the Republic of Armenia  

The Island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni
Venice

This exhibition has won the prestigious Lion D’Or of the Biennale 2015…. A clear and potent message, but not a gratuitous politically correct designation this prize was a fantastic and needed conclusion to this strangely disengaged Biennale.

Contemporary artists from the Armenian Diaspora 
Haig Aivazian, Lebanon; Nigol Bezjian, Syria/USA; Anna Boghiguian Egypt/Canada; Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Turkey; Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, Argentina/Germany; Rene Gabri & Ayreen Anastas, Iran/Palestine/USA; Mekhitar Garabedian, Belgium; Aikaterini Gegisian, Greece; Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Italy; Aram Jibilian, USA; Nina Katchadourian, USA/Finland;Melik Ohanian, France; Mikayel Ohanjanyan, Armenia/Italy; Rosana Palazyan, Brasil; Sarkis,Turkey/France; Hrair Sarkissian, Syria/UK

Curated by Adelina Cüberyan v. Fürstenberg*

In this symbolic year 2015, on the occasion of the 100th commemoration of the Armenian Genocidethe Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia has dedicated its pavilion to the artists of the Armenian diaspora. It is  located at the Mekhitarist Monastery on the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni.

The curatorial concept of armenity implies the notionof displacement and territoryjustice and reconciliationethos and resilience. Regardless of their place of birth, the selected artists carry within their identity the memory of their origins. Through their talent and willpower, these grandchildren of survivors of the Armenian Genocide—the first genocide of the 20th century—rebuilt a “transnational assembly” from the remnants of a shattered identity. Their ingrained concern for memory, justice and reconciliation skillfully transcends notions of territoryborders and geography. Whether they were born in Beirut, Lyon, Los Angeles, or Cairo and wherever they may reside, these global citizens constantly question and reinvent their armenity.

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