In her lecture, independent curator Eva Khachatryan will focus on institutions and organizations promoting contemporary art in Armenia and will give the audience an idea of some of the current ongoing projects and initiatives in this field.
The history of contemporary art in Armenia begins in the 1980s, when, influenced by perestroika, the first exhibitions opened their doors and information began spreading in the local creative community, even behind the still existent iron curtain. Contemporary art soon gained momentum, especially in the form of collective artistic initiatives. Another key thing that remains relevant in relation to the contemporary Armenian art scene is its self-organizing character. The emergence of institutions in the 1990s influenced the idea of contemporary art as a phenomenon that needed to be built on various levels, from education to art market. This is why it has survived and continues to grow in spite of the lack of funding from the government and the constituency, as well as the limited amount of available grant programs. Socio-political and research directions prevail in Armenian art, with many educational projects and independent initiatives generated today often involving activism.
In Eva Khachatryan’s view, “contemporary art, in its independent function, remains the kind of split that provides hope for turning utopias into reality”.