Financial Times: Armenia in Venice ?ˆ“ the past and the furious
Armenian News ?ˆ“? NEWS.ampresents the abridged version of the article by Gareth Harris, published in? Financial Times:
"For the Damascus-born artist Hrair Sarkissian, the issue of the Armenian genocide of 1915 always dominated family discussions. "For as long as I can remember, the massacre influenced almost everything we did," he says.
Sarkissian's grandparents were among the deportees and this bleak, and bloody, heritage underpins his practice. Now based in London, he is one of 18 established and emerging artists from the Armenian diaspora featured in the exhibition? Armenity? at this year's Venice Biennale.
Sarkissian?ˆ™s 2012 photographic series "Unexposed" focuses on the descendants of Armenian nationals forced to convert to Islam under the Ottomans. Even today, for fear of Islamic authorities, he says that having rediscovered their roots and reconverted to Christianity ?ˆ?these descendants conceal their newfound Armenian-ness?ˆ?.
Adelina C??beryan von F??rstenberg, a Swiss citizen of Armenian origin and founder of the non-governmental agency Art for the World, was asked by the Armenian culture ministry to curate the exhibition. The quality of the work is her main priority, she says. "In the last hundred years, despite the? Medz Yeghern? ?ˆ” an expression that Armenians use to denote the period of massacres and deportations that peaked in 1915 ?ˆ” Armenian culture has survived, and artists of Armenian origin have remained genuine citizens of the world,?ˆ? she writes in a statement posted online.
One highly controversial move is the inclusion of the Turkish-Armenian artist Sarkis under the Armenian umbrella. Sarkis is simultaneously Turkey?ˆ™s official representative at the biennale this year, creating his ?ˆ?Respiro?ˆ? installation in the Arsenale under the auspices of the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs. The directorate of press, which represents the Turkish government, declined to comment.
Nevertheless, Sarkis will show four works in the Armenian pavilion. "It is very important for me to keep the dialogue open. We are the link between two pavilions," Sarkis says."? source: