Beginnings of Europe
Beginnings of Europe #Armenia
The project Beginnings of Europe conceived by Constanze Müller Eriz Moreno Aranguren. It is an editorial project of creating publications in political ‘borders’ of Europe. The working process is to cooperate with local artists, scholars, activists and designers on re-thinking and picturing the identity and cultural constructions of each country/region. The project follows the political and cultural concept of Europe.
The result of the working process in each country will be a publication, which is going to be presented and distributed in the country itself and everywhere in Europe (book shops, art institutions...), and in exhibitions.
The publication project starts with Armenia. After Armenia, the project aims to follow realizing publications in further countries or regions like North Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta, Svalbard or Transnistria. The working process in Armenia is a cooperation of local contemporary artists and intellectuals.
At the same time the project offers a participative discursive platform and ways of expression.
The approach is not to set a foreign view to the country, but to create an inner, local perspective, that gives a stronger and realistic impact of the country and its life conditions.
The project initiated and promoted in the frame of the Art Commune AIR Program and its In-LAB Platform [Theory and Practice] have been organized by ACSL.
The Platform In-LAB [Theory and Practice] is an initiative of the Art and Cultural Studies laboratory. It is an open platform which, along with other interests, is oriented towards the social turn in contemporary art practices and has been sharing the set of desires to overturn the traditional relationship between the art object, the artist, and the audience. This kind of art testifies that artists are conceived not only as individual producers of discrete objects, but as producers of situations, co-participations, and collaborations. Being also part of the Art Commune AIR Program, the Platform In-LAB welcomes artists who are willing get engaged in collaboration and collective work in studio and post- studio practices like socially engaged art, dialog art, participatory art, contextual art, etc.
Constanze Muller is a curator and co-founder of the art association D21 Kunstraum Leipzig e.V.. She graduated the College of Graphic design at School of Arts, Technics and Construction and later held Mastership at University of Leipzig, Department of Pedagogics: Art and German.
She went through the practice of internship in the Center of Contemporary Art „Łaźnia”, Gdansk (PL) and combine her curatorial practice with teaching Art in Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff-Gymnasium, Chemnitz.
Eriz Moreno is a visual artist from Bilbao. He accomplished his thesis of master of Fine Arts at the University of La Laguna. The recent years of his activities were busy with realizing site specific ‘investigations’/ projects in Macau, Athens, London, USA, Germany and Poland and in various places in Spain combined with meticulous research of symbolical and geo-political meaning of site-scape. Moreno’s projects were also introduced publicly in form of solo shows in Spain, Germany, USA and Poland.
The emerging identity and cultural conflicts of Armenia are hardly grown because of the country’s historical, political and social transformations nowadays: Closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, a large Armenian population and culture living in the diaspora (with large Armenian communities especially in the United States and Russia), which influences the country economically and culturally, and the society’s search for new values as a post-soviet state. The project’s process local artists and intellectuals of different age generations are invited. The workshops, moderated by the mediator Constanze Müller, will work with initiative, discursive and reflexive interview methods, where the participants were asked about their own culture, their own self-image as a human, citizen and artist, about their positioning of “identity” and the definition of the own and the alter. The process of this discussion leads to artistic practices of the participating artists and offers to continue this process of thinking and reflecting.
In Armenia the questioning focuses in the terms of the current cultural, political and social situation due to historical and current developments in the society. All participants are asked to enrich the workshop’s discussions with personal inputs of references and cultural artefacts like texts, pictures, books as well as their own artistic working way. The workshops will follow a line of topics, which will focuses the discussions:
1. Cultural references (Questioning the European, Russian, Armenian, Persian influence)
2. Presence of history nowadays
3. Diaspora (Influences and consequences)
4. Politics (Questioning Armenian`s movement to Europe or Russia)
The mediator doesn’t try to set a view from the outside, but follows a question attitude. This attitude approaches and accepts the issues of the inner perspectives of the participating artists. Despite of this the mediator won’t insist to find a conclusion of the discussing process with all participants but to keep a diversity of perspectives to all issues. The mediator’s attitude follows an individual. group-following way, that domains the participation of all artist as well as a sort leadership to arrive to a reflective process of debate.
After or beside of the workshops the project offers to the artists the possibility of creating artworks from this reflective debate, which are going to be exhibited in the magazine as well as in the exhibition. The publication will also show the discussions of the workshops as a panorama of these issues and the references, which the participants will announce. The publication will be designed by a local designer and includes artworks of the participating artists as well as reflexive text material on the initiated process. The exhibition will show the process of the workshops in textual, audio-visual material as a documentation of this participative project.
The magazine concludes the discursive process in an artistic approach and will present a current reflection of Armenian’s situation by the perspective of Armenian contemporary artists. The concept of the magazine will follow the idea of a platform as a format to give a “space” of discourse, reflection and expression with the tools of art.
For further information and contact: