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Message of the President of Armenian Arts Council

July 2017

On behalf of the Armenian Arts Council (AAC) it is my pleasure to announce the launch of STANDART 2017, the first edition of a triennial international exhibition of contemporary art based in Armenia.

STANDART, Triennial of Contemporary Art is thought to have a roving nature, developing each time specific itineraries, with the aim to foster dialogue between places and artists and connect communities together.

Armenia has been a solid base for thinking and developing a project such as STANDART. The Biennial of Contemporary Art in Gyumri, the vibrant art realities in Yerevan, the Golden Lion that the Armenian Pavilion was awarded at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, and many other achievements of recent years made our task easier. The very name of the triennial is inspired by the avant-garde magazine published in 1924, called STANDARD (STANDART in Armenian transcription).

The rich cultural and historical context of Armenia is where STANDART 2017 takes place.

Carefully selected spaces become platforms where artists, curators, writers, scientists and local communities give birth to interactions aiming to a sustainable transformation of these realities. Starting from Gyumri, once an architectural jewel and a cultural hub in the Caucasus and famous for its XIX century urban dwellings, theatres and for its talented natives, poets, philosophers, artists and artisans. The mystic philosopher Gurdjieff and his cousin, the sculptor Sergey Merkurov, were born in Gyumri as well as Aslamazyan sisters. Today Gyumri aspires again to a leading role as a cultural capital of Armenia and welcomes STANDART 2017 to dialogue with its heritage and dynamic art scene. From Gyumri to Yerevan and from Yerevan to Sevan is the way STANDART 2017 itinerary expands by exploring landmark buildings from Soviet Modernist period such as Hay Art space, which once housed the only Museum of Modern Art in the Soviet Union or Sevan Writers’ Resort, a recipient of Getty Foundation “Keeping it Modern” grant for the conservation of modern architecture.

The board of the Armenian Arts Council has invited Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg, curator of the Golden Lion awarded Pavilion of Armenia at the 56th Venice Biennale, as Chief Curator of STANDART 2017, who proposes an extraordinary experience inspired by The Mount Analogue, an unfinished novel by French surrealist writer and poet René Daumal (1908-1944). Ruben Arevshatyan has joint the team as associate curator.

As a symbol of a poetic research and temporary experience, The Mount Analogue is a meditation on the pursuit of knowledge – based on the concept that the essence of a creative mind is directly related to who one is and what one experiences. The result of this art experience is a series of art exhibitions, encounters and direct collaborations, site-specific works and performances.

All of this would have not been possible without the partnership of institutions involved in the organization and all those who supported STANDART 2017, Triennial of Contemporary Art, which takes place under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia. Art for the World (Geneva),  Art Armenia Foundation (Yerevan), Hasratyan Foundation (Yerevan), Intellectual Renaissance Foundation (Yerevan) and the Embassy of Switzerland in Armenia shared their knowledge and resources to the best for the success of STANDART 2017.

On behalf of the entire team of the Armenian Arts Council, my special gratitude goes to all our supporters and STANDART Good Will Ambassadors who firmly believed and extended their full support to this challenging initiative.


Vartan Karapetian


Armenian Arts Council

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