GRANDCHILDREN, new geographies of belonging

In a global context where mobility and the virtual world challenge established identifications with national societies, ethnic groups or religions, Armenians can be considered a good example of a group with a long, cosmopolitan and globalized history. The exhibition GRANDCHILDREN, New geographies of belonging intends to look closer at personal and communal affiliations in the Armenian transnation, the mechanisms that empower and nurture the diasporic identities and its patterns of representation as well.
The today diasporic reality of the Armenians is consequence of different historic events, but no event has influenced the life of Armenians as their tragic fate, their annihilation and deportation under the Regime of the Young Turks in 1915.

Since 2006 a landscape has emerged that encompasses artists cooperating within different structures, realizing virtual visual dialogues followed by real exchanges in the form of exhibitions, symposiums and meetings.  During these various events, discussions have focused on the potential to build identities beyond national borders, traditions and languages, the relevance of new media as a field to experiment with different affiliations, art as an expression of new tendencies, how to foster solidarity, or strategies to build collectives, etc. These artists’ approach to Armenia goes beyond the idea of a nation being geographically or genetically defined. Their current reality, result of a process of displacement rooted in the beginning and the end of the twentieth century, is framed through the tension between a plurality of paradoxes: presences and absences, the richness and opportunities posed by multilingualism and cultural diversity and the cultural spacelessness for “Armenian” contemporary art, the necessity of conserving culture and at the same time the urgent need to shape new cultural landscapes, the chances and traps of an identity nurtured by the shelter of the difference.

The exhibition took place from 01.09 to 01.11.2015 at DEPO (Tütün Deposu, Istanbul-Turkey)

Artists: Achot Achot (Yerevan/Paris), Marian Bedoian (Buenos Aires), Talin Büyükkürkciyan (Istanbul), Hera Büyüktaşçıyan (Istanbul), Silvina Der-Meguerditchian (Buenos Aires/Berlin), Linda Ganjian (New York), Archi Galentz (Moscow/Berlin), Karine Matsakyan (Yerevan)  Mikayel Ohanjanyan (Yerevan/Florenz), Ani Setyan (Istanbul), Arman Tadevosyan (Gyumri/Nancy), Scout Tufankjian (New York), Marie Zolamian (Beirut/Liege)

Concept and project coordination: Silvina Der-Meguerditchian

Sponsors: This exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Anadolu Kültür, the Goethe Institut and the Kultur Akademie Tarabya.

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