A mixed media visual artist, free-lance curator, stage designer and an essayist based in Yerevan
A New Dictionary for Image-Forming Art: Soviet/Post Soviet Portraiture
I would like to address some of the notable changes that became visible in post-Soviet artistic practices,as a result of rapid developments, or the transformations, that followed the conformism which was typical during the so-called stagnation years in Soviet times. My observations will be based on rethinking the issues putforth through an exhibition that I curated in 2008 entitled “Portraiture between Modernity and Innovation” at the Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (NPAK) which dealt with works produced in Armenia after the Soviet rupture. Since in-retrospect the exhibited works can also be contextualized as strategies of silencing (or giving voice) my presentation will focus on the relation between changing artistic systems and the means of artistic production. More specifically, I will analyze the appearance of the non-official image – the individual – as a result of broader societal changes. I will end by questioning whether the theoretical frameworks that narrate artistic practices, in pre and post Soviet Armenia, have altered significantly.