‘Grandchildren’ exhibition in Istanbul to look closer at Armenians’ displacement

‘Grandchildren’ exhibition in Istanbul to look closer at Armenians’ displacement

‘Grandchildren’ exhibition in Istanbul to look closer at Armenians’ displacement A new exhibition at Istanbul’s Depo gallery takes a closer look at personal and communal affiliations in the Armenian diaspora, said by Armenians themselves to be “scattered like pomegranate seeds across the world.”

“GRANDCHILDREN, New geographies of belonging” opens on Sept. 3 at Depo in Istanbul’s Tophane neighborhood, and will run until Nov. 1.

“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,” Depo states about the show on its website. The exhibition includes works from Armenian artists based around the world. It is coordinated by Silvina Der-Meguerditchian and organized in cooperation with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Federal Foreign Office Germany, the Goethe Institut- Istanbul, Anadolu Kültür, the Cultural Academy Tarabya, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

“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,” the Depo website also reads. 

The works of 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) and Marie Zolamian (Beirut/Liege) are included in the exhibition. 

“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,” Depo’s website states.