23-27 May, curators from Armenia and Iran
In November 2016, a group of curators from the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland visited Armenia and Iran during an Orientation trip organized by the Mondriaan Fund. As a follow-up of this trip, a group of curators from both countries will visit the Netherlands and Flanders. The group will visit institutions, meet art professionals, and give a public talk on their practise. This visit is organized in collaboration with the Flanders Arts Institute in Belgium and the Netherlands embassy in Tehran.
On May 24 a public talk will be organized in cooperation with Nest in Den Haag.
Curator focused on cultural studies and modern and contemporary art, Tehran
Ali Bakhtiari is curator. He collaborated with many international museums and centers such as Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, British Museum, Museo MAXXI and Centre Georges Pompidou. He founded the ABBookness project in 2011, which is the first Middle Eastern project collaborating with artists on the publication of Artist Books. ABBookness published works of artists such as Farideh Lashai, Parviz Tanavoli, Parvaneh Etemadi and Ali Akbar Sadeghi.
Freelance curator, based in London
Leyla Fakhr works as an independent curator and producer. She is the founder of Art Square Projects, an agency that develops contemporary art projects with special focus on Public Art. She recently produced ‘Monir’, a documentary directed by Bahman Kiarostami on the life and work of the artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. Previously, she worked at Tate, London (2007-2015) where she contributed to the acquisitions and exhibitions of British art as well as art from the Middle East and North Africa. With the artist Nazgol Ansarinia she won the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2009). Also, she was awarded the International Curators Invitational from Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris (2006).
Art historian and curator specialising in photography, film and Armenian art of the modern era / Co-founder of ‘Lusadaran‘ Armenian Photography Foundation
Working between Australia and Armenia, Vigen Galstyan is an art historian and curator specialising in photography, film and Armenian art of the modern era. In 2011 he co-founded ‘Lusadaran’ Armenian Photography Foundation, which aims to collect, study and preserve photo-media art from Armenia and beyond (www.lusadaran.org). Since 2006 he has authored numerous exhibitions, essays and books related to photography and Armenian art, including the first ever survey devoted to Armenian film poster art at the National Gallery of Armenia. From 2010-12 Vigen held the position of assistant curator photographs at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. His exhibition projects include: Industrial Symphony: photography and the post-industrial age (2010, Armenian centre of experimental arts, Yerevan), Kamo Nigarian: Protoforms (2011, Yerevan Museum of Modern Art), Flatlands: photography and everyday space (2012, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney), Samvel Saghatelyan: Transromance (Lusadaran, Yerevan, 2013), Female trouble: photography and the construction of femininity (Lusadaran and Hayart centre of contemporary art, Yerevan, 2014), Nazik Armenakyan: Survivors (2015, travelling exhibition and photobook), Kamo Nigarian: Schizopolis (2015, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, Yerevan) and others. In 2016, under Vigen’s direction, ‘Lusadaran’ realized the first scientific database devoted to the history of Armenian photographic arts. His essays on photography and cinema have appeared in significant publications such as Sweet sixties (Sternberg Press, 2013), We used to talk about love (Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2013) and Garden of the East: photography in Indonesia 1850s-1940s (National Gallery, Canberra, 2014). Vigen has completed a BA in film and media productions in the University of Technology, Sydney, and an MA in Art Curatorship at the University of Sydney where he is currently completing his PhD thesis on indigenous, 19th century Armenian photography of historic architecture. Alongside his academic and curatorial work, Vigen continues his creative practice and has directed a number of short films and documentaries since 2005.
Anna K. Gargarian
Curator & Cultural Project Manager and Director & Curator for HAYP Pop Up Gallery, Armenia
Anna Gargarian is an emerging curator born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts who currently lives in Yerevan, Armenia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Chemistry from New York University, and a Master’s degree from the Spinelli Institute for Art Restoration in Florence, Italy. Her curatorial experience began with Otto luogo dell’arte, an international avant-garde design and fine art gallery in Florence, founded and directed by Olivia Toscani Rucellai. With Otto, Gargarian discovered her love of curating while collaborating on over fifteen exhibitions, events and special projects in Florence, Paris, Beijing, Zurich, and Milan, including the gallery’s participation at Milan Design Week. Gargarian has consulted as a Curator and Content Developer in the arts for projects in cities worldwide, including: Yerevan (AM), Beijing (CN), Copenhagen (DK), Florence (IT), Paris (FR), and Boston (MA). Among her clients and collaborators are the Armenian Embassy to Denmark and Norway, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, INVIVIA design studio, and AGBU-Armenia. In 2014, she founded HAYP Pop Up Gallery, a nomadic gallery that supports contemporary art in Armenia and encourages experimental and dynamic ways of art viewing and exhibiting. In 2015, she designed, curated, and coordinated Dreamscapes, Armenia’s special exhibit and national pavilion at the 6th Beijing International Art Biennale. Today she continues her work with HAYP Pop Up gallery with the aim to make positive social change and encourage international exchange amongst artists in Armenia and abroad. Simultaneously, as curator and cultural projects advisor to AGBU-Yerevan, Gargarian is currently undertaking a major research project to assess and collect data on the current arts education system in Armenia, and propose new solutions for innovating and elevating content.
Co-founder and Co-director of Va Space, independent art space in Isfahan, Iran
Samira Hashemi is an artist, curator and educator based in Isfahan, Iran. She is currently visiting lecturer at Sepehr Art University Isfahan. She is Co-founder and Co-director of Va Space, an independent art space in Isfahan where she has co-directed exhibitions, workshops, and talks all around the city of Isfahan from 2014. She is Co-director of CC Isfahan (Center for Contemporary Creation) in Iran. Currently, she is also curator of the art section of Shared-Studios Portal in Isfahan. She received an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Birmingham City University. As an Artist, her videos and performances has been selected for several international video and performance art festivals, such as Dust Video Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2015), Parramasala Media Festival in Sydney, Australia (2014), Fonlad Festival, Portugal, the Portland Film and Performance Fest (2014), and the Copenhagen FOKUS Video Art Festival (2014). Her work has been exhibited at several venues, including Museum of Ex-Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico city, Mexico (2014), Pori Art Museum, Finland (2015) and Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Denmark (2015).
Director Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) Yerevan, Armenia
Nazareth Karoyan is art critic, freelance curator and founder and director of ICA. Ever since the 1980s, he has contributed actively to the formation of the contemporary art scene in Armenia. He was affiliated with the group the Black Square, and was the co-founder of the 3rd floor movement. Karoyan also initiated several private art galleries in Armenia as well as the first Armenian contemporary art periodical, In Vitro. From 2005 to 2013 he was one of founders and first president of AICA-Armenia. Karoyan was the curator of around twenty exhibitions in Armenia and abroad. Last one was the National Pavilion of Armenia in Venice Biennale at 2011. He is among the initiators of the Summer Seminars for Art Curators and the two-year Program for Critical and Curatorial Studies in Yerevan. As an art critic Karoyan’s interests focus on the problems of institutionalization of contemporary art, cooperation with Europe and representation of socio-political contexts in contemporary art.
Artist and an independent curator, based in Tehran / Founder and Director of Sazmanab
Sohrab Kashani is an interdisciplinary artist and an independent curator based in Tehran. He is the Founder and Director of Sazmanab; non-profit art organization and residency program established in 2008. Sohrab has exhibited internationally and has held talks at institutions and universities worldwide including: Asia Society, New York; Tisch School of the Arts NYU, New York; Stanford University, Palo Alto; International Studio & Curatorial Program (iscp), New York; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Pomona College, Los Angeles; University of California, Irvine; Delfina Foundation, London; Gasworks, London; Haus am Waldsee, Berlin; YARAT, Baku; and Global Art Forum (Art Dubai), Dubai.
Curator at Armenia Art Foundation, Yerevan
Sona Stepanyan is curator at Armenia Art Foundation (Yerevan) and co-founder and member of curatorial studio Triangle (Moscow). Previously she worked at the education department of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. She graduated from Svobodnie Masterskie curatorial school, the Critics and Curatorship program of UNIC Institute, and State Moscow Pedagogical University. Among her independent exhibitions are: Project with an Accent (2014), Ward Number Laughter (MMOMA, 2013).