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series of  workshops led by Denisas Kolomyckis (Lithuania-Portugal)

July 9, 10, 2014



actor and dancer: Denisas Kolomyckis

video and documentation: Luís Carvalho

duration: 40 minutes

The Small Theater/The Armenian National Center of Aesthetics

11 Abovyan str., Yerevan, Armenia

July 21, 2014 (no fee for the entrance)


As a partner organization of the RAIZVANGUARDA Cultural Association based in in Gois (Portugal), the Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory (ACSL) collaboratively organized series of workshops  entitled ‘Performance Art as a Tool for Democracy’ led by denisas Kolomyckis, co-workers Luis Carvahlo and Inesse and a performance ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by an artist Denisas Kolomyckis on a stage of the Small Theater (Poqr Tatron) of the National Center of Aesthetics (NCA), Armenia.

The aim of the workshops is to establish a working and collaborative platform with artistic and non-artistic communities with introducing them the idea of Performance Art, and promoting their own power for an active society. During the workshops, participants will have the opportunity to create their own interpretations, producing new ideas that will be tested during the workshops. Other artistic disciplines were introduced, being taken as a starting point for a critical thinking and artistic improvisation. The objective is to demonstrate the possibility of achieving social change through the use of artistic tools.

The series of workshops embraced the students of the Art College (NCA), artists of the Small Theater and group of MA students of the Institute of of theater and Cinematography/department of Scenography and theater directing.

The RAIZVANGUARDA and ACSL will continue that reciprocal collaboration in Portugal in a frame of new body of projects which are in the stage of processing and developing and will take place in 2015.

Workshops 1:  Performance Art as a tool for Democracy

The aim of this workshop is to introduce participants to the Performance Art, promoting their own power for an active society. During this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to create their own interpretations, producing new ideas that will e tested during the workshop. Other artistic disciplines will be introduced, being taken as a starting point for a critical thinking and artist improvisation. The objective is to demonstrate the possibility of achieving social change through the use of artistic tools.

Duration: 8 hours (09h30-13h00/14h-18h30)


Workshops 2:  Body - The link between art and society

This workshop has the objective to show the participants the importance of their body by demonstrating the capabilities of motion and composition skills as well as the development of critical thinking, combined with the creativity of expression. Through this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to create their own choreography and perform it. Duration: 6 hours (10h-13h/14h-17h) Language : Russian (Armenian translation if needed).




Performance by Denisas Kolomyckis

‘The Portrait of Dorian Gray’ is a multidisciplinary synthesis of the work of Oscar Wilde, that incorporates elements of theater, contemporary dance, music, sound and visual arts. The novel was adapted for an actor/ dancer who will recreate all the characters through voice, body, movement and music. The performance will include numerous multicultural expressions: traditional dances, language, music, sounds and video, which reflect human creativity and are measured in many fields of cultural heritage. It will be focused in Portuguese, Lithuanian and Armenian culture. Festivities, rituals, oral traditions, weddings, funerals and multicultural festivities will be addressed from the work.

Contemporary dance plays a crucial role in performance. Through body, ordered and highly complex movements will illustrate specific events of the novel. Dance is a language for the spectators, and through natural movements, homoeroticism, narcissism, seduction, beauty and gratification the novel will be present. The performance  addresses s issues such as multiculturalism, art as a tool for democracy, LGBT rights and human rights. All performances in Armenia will be recorded and documented. They will be posted online for the general public.


Denisas Kolomyckis
is an interdisciplinary, performance artist, dancer and director. Worked with Lithuanian director Sarunas Bartas and avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas in New York. He has presented his works in USA, Russia and many other European countries. Denisas is an activist for human and LGBT rights and he has been awarded with the prize for the Youngest Lithuanian Volunteer in 2006. In 2013, Denisas Kolomyckis spoke on the international platform TEDx about “Performance Art as a Tool for Critical Approach”.

Luís Carvalho graduated in Sound and Image by Escola Superior de Arte das Caldas da Rainha, where he studied Cinema and Photography. In 2012/2013, Luís Carvalho participated in a European volunteer program in South Caucasus, having lived in Gyumri. In Armenia, he worked in youth initiatives, organized art events and within the non-formal education, studied the Armenian language and culture.

This project funded by Galouste Gulbenkian Foundation
with support and partnership  of the ACSL,  Lithuanian Embassy in Armenia, Youth Initiative Centers in Gois and Yerevan and others.

Special Thanks:

The Armenian National Center of Aesthetics and its “Small Theater”

Vahan Badalyan (artistic director of the “Small Theater”)

Samvel Baghdasaryan (dean of the Department of Fine Arts at the Armenian Open University)

Liana Khachatryan (coordinator of the Department of Fine Arts at the Armenian Open University)

Triangular Projections

‘Triangular Projections’ is the title of the exhibition at the Yerevan Modern Art Museum. It consists of artistic works by Spanish artists Guillermo Manuel Rojas Aguilera and Eriz Moreno Aranguren, as well as a curatorial project by German mediator and curator Constanze Muller hosted by ACSL in the frame of the ‘Art Commune’ AIR Program for 4 months residency stay.

During the implementation of this project, questions regarding the role of contemporary art arose quite often. Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben claims regarding the notion of ‘contemporary’ that to be contemporary is to fix our gaze upon the DARKNESS of our age, and we have to be in time for the appointment with the realities of this darkness. According to art critic Terry Smith, ‘contemporary’ is a series of endless social injustices, while another art critic Christine Ross claims, ‘contemporary artists are interested in the revelation of the possibilities of the remainders of the past and using them as a tool for resisting and reorganizing of the contemporary life.’

All three projects are related to the realities of contemporary Armenia and are based on ‘involuntary memories’ and rethinking and representation of events. Characteristically, the differences among the projects coincide with current debates regarding the role of contemporary art. One of the calls that can be often heard during these debates is for exhausting and overcoming the relative diversity of works of art about the ‘present moment’, where it seems that there is no difference between styles and beliefs, and for turning to a more acute, politicized stance in the art, looking into the future to understand how and where we seek to reach. Both the first and second tendencies are present in the projects.




Art Laboratory

Karen Alekyan

Lala Aslikyan

Susanna Gyulamiryan

Vardan Jaloyan

Arevik Martirosyan

Varham Martirosyan

Vahram Soghomonyan


Curator and Mediator: Constanze Müller

Editor: Eriz Moreno Aranguren




multimedia installation (video, objects, painting)




multimedia installation (ready-made, documentation)


The exhibition organized with support of  Yerevan Modern Art Museum, Mekhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex, Department of Fine Arts at the Armenian Open University and  European Cultural Foundation




Mischa Badasyan (Berlin/Gemany) in collaboration with

Vardan Harutyunyan (Yerevan/Armenia)

Live Performance

Organized by ACSL in the frame of the Art Expo-2013 International Festival of Arts from countries of CIS

September 20, 2013, Gyumri Armenia


The live performance “Blow -Blew – Blown” is part of the In-LAB Platform: [Theory and Practice] organized by ACSL in the frame of Art Commune AIR program and ACSL’s activities. In-LAB is an open discussion and discursive platform where social, political, and cultural processes taking place in and outside of Armenia are being displayed and discussed, carrying out talks, public readings, workshops, lectures, analysis of current artistic projects and exhibitions, as well as communication and cooperation with non-artistic communities and activists.

Performance investigates the line of contact(s)  between two people putting the questions about the borders of  the relationship between them. How could they change in the transition of the care to idea of the power, from tenderness to violence from freedom to suppression?

Two solitudes  – one disappointment, Two first words – one sentence, Two bodies  - one organism, Two forgotten destinies – one hope, Two turns – one circle, Two kisses – one love, Two hands –one handshake, Two legs – one heat, Two wings – one bird, Two dreams – one life.


MISCHA BADASYAN is a Performance and Video artist based in Berlin, Germany. He was born on February 25th 1988 in Rostov on Don, Russia. His father is a Georgian born Armenian and his mother is Armenian. His ancestors on his Mother’s side moved to Russia in 1779 and built an Armenian city in Rostov, which is still part of that city .Mischa studied Political Science at Rostov´s South University and have been working in social, human rights, LGBT and environmental protecting organizations. It has made a huge impact on him and his artwork.

In 2008, he moved to Germany and eventually began studying social work in Dresden while staying active in social/AIDS/LGBT organizations. In April 2011, Mischa moved to the UK for his studies and during this time, he visited Manchester’s International Festival.

"I saw a performance by Marina Abromovic and a concert by Bjork and they both inspired me to pursue Live art performances. I consider my work live art because I strongly believe that the art exists only through our life experiences.  Art, to me, is about energy. It exists only as an exchange of the energy. While performing live, I am able to feel the energy from my audience. Through interacting with my audience, they not only become part of my artwork, but also, their energy impacts my performance. This creates spontaneous works of art that is constantly changing and moving."

VARDAN HARUTYUNYAN (b. 1987, Yerevan) is a composer and pianist with interest to create sound art installations and filed recordings, thus he was severally involved in collaboration with visual artists from the field of contemporary art. In 2009 he graduated from the Yerevan Sate Conservatory after Komitas (composition class)  and  has been working in the field of academic, electronic and electro-acoustic music.

ART AND CULTURAL STUDIES LABORATORY (ACSL) is a non-governmental organization with the aim of establishing a stable platform for critical analysis, reflections, open discussions, information exchange and interactive communication, which would contribute to the development, promotion and analysis  of contemporary art processes/practices by setting up exhibitions, discursive events, and educational programs. ACSL promotes the development of Armenia as a zone of cultural dialogue and meeting place with its current situation as a post-Soviet country and its contextual and ideological issues.


It’s LIQUID International Contest 3rd edition

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Yerevan-Milan-Florence Turin, Venice

April 3rd – May 27th 2013

Karen Andreasyan, Sabina Grasso, Armine Hovhannisyan, Angela Zurlo

Curated by Susanna Gyulamiryan and Aria Spinelli

Promoted by FARE Cultura Contemporanea Applicata, Milan Italy In collaboration with Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory (ACSL), Yerevan Armenia

Taking Positions: Identity Questioning is an artistic research project on the social functionality of artistic practices and the construction of subjective cultural identities. The projects is curated by Susanna Gyulamiryan and Aria Spinelli and promoted by FARE (Milan, Italy) and Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory - ACSL (Yerevan). Thought for experimenting the art residency format and deepening the significance of cultural exchanges through the shared experience of questioning, the project is part of the larger framework of, that promotes and supports International Exchange, developed in collaboration with Open Care and with the support of Fondazione Cariplo, NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (Dipartimento di Arti Visive) e GAI - Associazione Circuito Giovani Artisti Italiani.

Taking Positions: Identity Questioning is initiated through the hypothesis that both the Armenian and Italian context are living through a similar cultural paradox: a rapid advancement contrasted by a traditional society, mixed with a lack of infrastructure capable of supporting the artistic class. In times of social disorder and political uncertainty, the social position of the artist is often based on a set of values that are not shared collectively. Within this curatorial structure which is thought mainly to create situations in which reciprocal learning processes should flourish, thanks to hospitality and collaboration, the artists involved are invited to spend time in each-others' countries and try adsorb as much information and stimulus they can in order to develop art works base on these guidelines.

The development of the research in Yerevan and Milan will therefore use the notion of the paradox in order to describe a contemporary way of living. The concept of storytelling is thus seen here not only as a reference, but also as methodology, declined in diverse forms, such as the transmission of information (who do we communicate to, and how?) and the individual or collective thinking processes (can we create communal space of shared knowledge?). The curators Susanna Gyulamiryan and Aria Spinelli created an open research platform which will critically reflect on the Armenian and Italian contemporary art scenes by deepening these issue through artistic research, collective discussions, tours, exhibition praxis and theoretical production, involving institutions, non for profit, independent and educational spaces in Yerevan, Milan, Florence, Turin, Venice such as MekhitarSebastatsi Educational Complex, Department of Fine Art, Armenian Open University (Yerevan), NABA (Milan), Mesopotomia (Milan), DOCVA (Milan) Isola Art Center (Milan), Wulkos (Venice), IL VIVAIO DEL MALCANTONE, F_AIR,GuilmiArtProject (Florence), Kaninchen-Haus (Turin).

Italian artists Sabina Grasso and Angela Zurlo and curator Aria Spinelli spent researching and projects implementing ime in Yerevan at the “Art Commune” International Artist-in-Residence cluster organized by Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory (ACSL). Armenian artistsArmineHovhannisyan, Karen Andreasian and curator Susanna Gyulamiryanhad an artistic reciprocity in Turin, Florence, Venice and Milan-FARE (Open Care Residency facilities). Given the complexity of the Italian context, the group also travelled to other residencies in Italy, where they have been hosted and attended various activities.

The final show was organized in Milan at the Frigoriferi Milanesi art center and exhibition space, where the artists re-enacted the period of research undertaken. A final publication documented the whole process and the theoretical conclusions by the curators. is a network of national residency programs. The network intends to facilitate artistic mobility through RESIDENZAITALIA, a unique program that supports artist and curators permanency within national residency programs. FARE also sustains the artist residencies by implementing their cultural activities through collaboration and support of the work of international and national artist and curators.

FARE is a non-profit cultural association based in Milan. It works in the field of contemporary art, extended also to the cross culture of the contemporary. Consulting services for private entities have been carried on together with complex or collaborative projects with other associations and cultural organizations of Milan beyond "public" projects as the articulation and management of national and international networks for training and residencies for artists and curators. The focus of FARE is to carefully pay attention to the needs of the cultural system and its operators: what is missing, what has to be done, what people would like.

ACSL is a non-governmental organization with the aim of establishing a stable platform for critical analysis, reflections, open discussions, information exchange, and interactive communication, thus contributing to the development of contemporary art practices. ACSL organizes and develops exhibitions, discursive events with promoting unique theoretical research and educational programs. ACSL promotes the development of Armenia as a zone of cultural dialogue and meeting place, with its current situation as a post-Soviet country and the contained contextual and ideological issues. In 2008, ACSL established the “Art Commune” International Artist-in-Residence program. “Art Commune” is a general member of the Res Artis worldwide network of artist residencies.

Karen Andreasyan is a Yerevan-based artist. His exhibitions and projects include: Absence/Presence, Yerevan, 1993; the Venice Biennial, Armenian pavilion, 1995; the Geo-Kunst Expedition within the framework of Documenta X, in 1997; ‘(his)tory’‚ Salzburg Kunstverein, Austria 2002; and Adieu Parajanov, Kunsthalle Vienna, Austria 2003; Since 2003 he has been working on a long-term network project, Voghchaberd, which was presented at the Centre for the Contemporary Image, Geneva, 2004 and XV Biennale de Paris, 2006, and is in the Fondsrégionaux d’art contemporain collection, France. His Ontological Walkscapes is an ongoing project, part of which was presented at the 11th International Istanbul Biennial, 2009. Its present Blind Dates installment, entitled 960, is the artist’s debut in New York.

Sabina Grasso is a Milan-based artist. Her works are principally concerned with the representation of people and the places in which they dwell. She is also interested in the city as a kind of dramatic stage where social conditions of strata’s living levels are connected with current politics of ruling system with all hierarchical subordination in the social body. Photography, video, collage and performances are her most used media. Her works were shown in different venues including FrigoriferiMilanesi, Milan 2013; Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; MAGASIN Centre National d’ArtContemporain, Grenoble, France; FondazioneBevilacqua la Masa, Venezia, Italy; Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Italy.

Susanna Gyulamiryan (Yerevan, Armenia) is an art critic and curator, who have been working in Armenia and internationally. Her current fields of interest include the epistemological, philosophical issue of the other, examination of biopolitics, gender and feminist issues in contemporary art practices, and the issue of “East-West” with mapping and researches on “imaginative geographies”.In 2007, she collaboratively founded the “Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory” (ACSL), where she is the appointed president. In 2008, she was an initiator of founding the “Art Commune” International Artist-in-Residence program in Armenia. Since 2006, she is a board member of AICA – Armenia (International Association of Art Critics).More than ten years, Susanna Gyulamiryan has held courses in Cultural Studies at the Armenian Open University, Department of Fine Arts (International Academy of Education). She is an associated nominator of the International Biennial Prize Council for outstanding achievements in Art and Politics by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School (New-York) in 2013, and nominator of the Price Council for the Annual award for a best art critical essay launched by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.

ArmineHovhannisyan (b.1983) lives and works in Yerevan, Armenia ArmineHovhannisyan has graduated from Armenian Open University, Department of Fine Arts in 2004. Since 2003 she has taken part in various local and international exhibitions, symposiums and workshops. Some of the crucial participations include Society, Body, Art VII Annual Festival of Alterative Art-Yerevan at ACCEA(2005);Gender Trouble. Platforms exhibition and series of seminars organized by ACSL (2008, 2009, curator: S.Gyulamiryan), Gyumri International Biennales of Art (2004-2008), Soviet AgitArt. Restoration exhibition with S.Baghdasaryan at BM SUMA, the Contemporary Art Center in Istanbul (2008, curator: B.Madra), and Manufacture, a residency project in Istanbul organized by Bilgi University (2007), Urban dreams residency-exhibition, in the scope of HEICO project (2011, Art Today Association, Bulgaria and Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory, Armenia),Havavproject organized by Fethiye Cetin and Hrant Dink Foundation, Istanbul, Havav, Turkey (2011) and The journey to the Eastexhibition in Bialystok, MOCAK, Warsaw, Poland (2011, curator: M. Szewczyk).

Aria Spinelli (New York, 1981) is an independent curator who currently conducting a Practiced-based Phd at Loughborough University on the relationship between art and activism. She holds a BA in Contemporary Art History from La Sapienza University of Rome and a MA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies from NABA – New Academy of Fine Arts (Milan, Italy). She is cofounder of collective Radical Intention, which seeks to challenge the boundaries of art presentation and implement the discourse around contemporary art production and distribution. As a curator she has been involved in long-term collaborations with Isola Art Center in Milan and CHAN - Contemporary Art Association in Genoa. She also conducted curatorial residencies at Incheon Art Platform (Incheon, South Korea) Gwangju Biennale Foundation (Gwangju, South Korea); Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory (Yerevan, Armenia), MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art (Barcelona, Spain).

Angela Zurlo (1982, Troia (FG) Italy) lives and works in Rome. Her research investigates issues that deal with female and infantile aspects of complex societies, through the reinterpretation of old textiles and sewing techniques. She has a BA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna (2006) and an MA from the Academy of Arts in Rome (2009). She conducted research for over a year at the Universitad de Belles Artes in Bilbao, Spain. She participated in Default masterclass residency program organizedby Random (Lecce). She participated in festivals and collective projects such as Nuovagestione, Rome (2012), Linea35 Festival (2011), Mettiuna sera in Barona curated by Connecting Cultures, Milan (2011).
Recent shows: Taking Position: Identity Questioning, Frigoriferi Milanesi, Milan 2013; Ortica, Organic theme in contempoary Art, Macro Testaccio, Rome 2013; Cartabianca_roma, Museo di Arte contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genoa; Ouverture, Museo Fondazione Pino Pascali, Bari 2012; Trame. Omaggio a Louise Bourgeois, Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea, Rome 2011, My favourite things, Galleria Contemporaneo di Mestre, Venice 2010




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