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Contemporary Artists from the Armenian Diaspora

May 6, 2015 – October 18, 2015
Tickets cost €3

Mekhitarist Monastery, Island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice

On the occasion of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, Armenia has dedicated its pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale to the artists of the Armenian diaspora.

Curated by Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg, exhibited artists deal with the notion of displacement and territory, justice and reconciliation, and ethos and resilience. Regardless of their place of birth, the selected artists carry within them the memory of their origins. Their ingrained concern for memory, justice and reconciliation transcends notions of territory, borders and geography. Whether they were born in Beirut, Lyon, Los Angeles or Cairo and wherever they may reside, these artists constantly question and reinvent their ‘armenity’.

The setting where the pavilion is held also has special significance for the Armenian diaspora. It was on the Island of San Lazzaro, located between San Marco and the Lido, that in 1717 the Armenian monk Mekhitar established the Mekhitarist Order. It was here in the early 19th century that Lord Byron studied the Armenian language. Many important works of European literature and religious texts were first translated into Armenian on this island. Over its 300-year history, the Monastery of San Lazzaro with its gardens, former print shop, cloisters, museum and library, has helped to preserve Armenia’s unique cultural heritage.

The exhibited artists are: Haig Aivazian (Lebanon), Nigol Bezjian (Syria/USA), Anna Boghiguian (Egypt/Canada), Hera Büyüktaşçıyan (Turkey), Silvina Der-Meguerditchian (Argentina/Germany), Rene Gabri and Ayreen Anastas (Iran/Palestine/USA), Mekhitar Garabedian (Belgium), Aikaterini Gegisian (Greece), Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi (Italy), Aram Jibilian (USA), Nina Katchadourian (USA/Finland), Melik Ohanian (France), Mikayel Ohanjanyan (Armenia/Italy), Rosana Palazyan (Brazil), Sarkis (Turkey/France) and Hrair Sarkissian (Syria/UK).

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