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CCA presented the project of Armenian National Pavilion within the framework of the 60th Venice Art Biennale

March 13, 2024
On March 11, a press conference was held at the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia, during which the Cafesjian Center for the Arts presented the project of Armenian National Pavilion within the framework of the 60th Venice Art Biennale.

For the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia the Republic of Armenia is presenting an insightful multi-media project, Echo by Paris-based artist Nina Khemchyan.

The co-organizer and general sponsor of The Armenian Pavilion in 2024 is the Cafesjian Center for the Arts (CCA). The curator of the National Pavilion is Armen Yesayants, the Director of Exhibitions of CCA. 

The commissioner of the pavilion is the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports.

During the press conference, the contribution of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts and the concept of the National Pavilion were presented by Vahagn Marabyan, the Executive Director of CCA, Armen Yesayants, the curator of the pavilion, and Yelizaveta Shirinyan, the Director of Education of CCA.

At the Biennale Arte 2024 the Armenian National Pavilion will encapsulate concepts drawn from Medieval Armenian cultural heritage and diverse spiritual universal principles, reconsidered in the realm of nowness. 

The Echo by Nina Khemchyan features two major installations: two profound components related to and fulfilling one another.

The central component of the Armenian National Pavilion comprises eleven blue ceramic spheres. Each of these spheres is adorned with golden incrustations, which represent a specific selection of Armenian sharakans, eleven chants of repentance, written by Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet, philosopher, theologian, priest, and poet. He is a fundamental figure in the history and culture of his country; a spiritual leader, founder of Armenian sacred music. For a long time, Nina Khemchyan has been immersed in Mesrop Mashtots’ work.

The physical installation is supplemented by an a capella performance of the hymns by Hasmik Baghdasaryan-Dolukhanyan. 

The Armenian National Pavilion is also fulfilled with the work Seven Deadly Sins by Nina Khemchyan: a 50-meter single-piece paper roll artwork.

These two works, Echo and Seven Deadly Sins, enhance and intensify each other, intertwining the themes of human sinfulness with the quest for spiritual repentance and redemption, so essential and vital, especially nowadays. This interplay leads to a profound narrative, where visual codes and textual elements enrich each other's meaning.

The Armenian Pavilion invites a dialogue with the title of the Biennale Arte 2024, Foreigners Everywhere, featuring Nina Khemchyan, an Armenian female artist living in France. Although living in Europe, her oeuvre is deeply rooted in Armenian medieval heritage, endangered today, transcending geographical and temporal boundaries to address universal themes of identity, memory, and belonging.
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