THE LATITUDE OF ART
ARTS & CULTURE

THE LATITUDE OF ART

On November 21st, the art space LATITUDE will open its doors in the Vahakni district of Yerevan, with a strong commitment to nurturing the presence of contemporary art in Armenia. Curated exhibitions, community outreach, special events and, most importantly, educational programs designed for art and professional development will be aimed at building bridges between local and international artists around the world.

Text : Margarit Mirzoyan    Photo : LATITUDE

 

 

Concept design of Latitude Art Space

 

The term latitude can refer to either a scope for freedom of action or thought, or, as more commonly known, latitude is the coordinate of an exact point on earth, which specifies its distance from north to south. The constant lines of latitude run as parallel circles from east to west embracing the world and connecting the dots. The art space, LATITUDE, introduced by ICAE (International Contemporary Art Exhibition), hopes to embody all of these characteristics. The brand new, 400 square meter space is designed by Italian architect and interior designer Marina Ranieri. The art space will open its doors with an inaugural curated exhibition of five international contemporary artists in the third week of November. In addition to hosting long running exhibitions by local and visiting artists, LATITUDE will be open to the public for special events, educational programs, workshops, professional training courses, lectures and any number of activities devoted to developing cross-cultural relations and furthering professional art development in Armenia.

The Italian director of ICAE, Fabio Lenzi, who is residing in Armenia, has been increasingly involved in art and culture. The ICAE2018 exhibition was the first of its kind and largest international contemporary art exhibition held in Armenia, and involved 74 artists from 25 countries, out of which many were local Armenian, contemporary artists. Lenzi believes that LATITUDE will be a great step forward in our mission to link the Armenian art scene with contemporary artists of international significance, promote cultural diversity through open source education and vocational training, and develop Armenia’s burgeoning contemporary art scene. In 2018 Lenzi brought certified art handlers from Italy to complete the task of setting up the 2018 exhibition. “As you can imagine, I really want to always work with Armenian professionals and avoid using outside help whenever possible. With this goal in mind we can build on Armenia’s strength as a cultural powerhouse with a lot to offer.”

Critici ostinati ritmici, 2010

 

LATITUDE will provide public access to artistic and professional development. Specific programs are in development with established educational partners for apprenticeships, and long and short courses which will provide certified art professionals. English language classes will also be included as an important component for this kind of professional development. The overall curriculum for the art space will be designed by a local specialist, who will map out the program for the upcoming year.

In addition to operating as an educational space, LATITUDE will host curated exhibitions. The inaugural exhibition, will feature five international contemporary artists who previously participated in the ICAE2018 exhibition, and includes Italian artist Roberto Pugliese, Iraqi Kurd Walid Siti, Pakistani Imran Qureshi, Nigerian Victor Ehikhamenor and Syrian-Armenian Kevork Mourad. This group was pleased to return to Armenia after their successful experience with ICAE2018, where they also conducted workshops at TUMO and at Panos Terlemezian Yerevan State College of Arts as well as creating some onsite installations with the help of young art students.

Students of Panos Terlemezyan State College of Fine Arts actively working with Kevork Mourad on the implementation of his Artwork, The Immemorial, produced and exhibited during ICAE2018 in Yerevan

 

Co-curated by two curators, the show, entitled “Impossible to Find,” will open in November and run until mid-2020 and all works will be for sale. There is a mandate that all funds raised through sales will be donated to an Armenian foundation dedicated to arts and culture. The show will reflect on the geographical and cultural concept of the map, and how we perceive places and borders. This first exhibition is a manifesto of the art space and an invitation to rethink the notion of a map, at every latitude.

 

Artist’s Quotes

 

Victor Ehikhamenor

The most memorable part of my first trip to Armenia in 2018 was working with the young students at the Panos Terlemezyan Yerevan State College of the Arts. The energy and enthusiasm and creativity of the young artists was so captivating, I could have spent far more than the week I did with them. While they were supposed to be learning from me, it was the other way around because I learned so much about the culture in a new country. I believe this cross cultural exchange is very important in the development of contemporary art in Armenia.

Artist Victor Ehikhamenor with Fabio Lenzi, Executive Director of ICA

 

Roberto Pugliese

My participation in the Latitude project, starts from the premise of expanding my knowledge of Armenian culture and art, bringing in exchange my art and culture, opening new dialogues in a new space for artistic practices and new connections.

 

Walid Siti

After last year’s meaningful cultural experiences at ICAE2018 exhibition I was hoping to return to Yerevan to further engage with the thriving art scene. I am thrilled to participate in the opening of Latitude space. Knowing the team behind this emerging platform for contemporary art I am confident that this project will have a major impact on the development of visual art in Armenia.

Walid Siti, setting up the Artwork: Stone Tales, 2018 – produced and exhibited during ICAE2018 in Yerevan

 

Kevork Mourad

I am excited to be part of the Latitude project. It’s a dream come true for someone like me to be able to come to Armenia to share my skills with local young art students and young professionals to share with them how I work internationally and to inspire them.

Kevork Mourad, setting up his Artwork: The Immemorial, 2018 – produced and exhibited during ICAE2018 in Yerevan

 

Imran Qureshi

It was an unexpected and unusual experience for me to exhibit and work on a site specific installation in Armenia for ICAE 2018 last year. I had no idea about Armenia, with no idea about its people, it’s culture or art . Everything was a great surprise and very exciting for me. Armenia and its people, for some unknown reason, didn’t appear to me like complete strangers but the opposite. The contemporary art was another surprise in so many good ways. Armenia's history in the Soviet Union made me feel very nostalgic as my childhood had too many memories from the Russia- Afghan war days and its effect on Pakistan.

These experiences gave me a tremendous experience and created many memories while I was installing my work there.

This is the reason that I immediately accepted this invitation and this opportunity to exhibit here again at LATITUDE for their inaugural show. This will help the people of Armenia not only to see and experience my art, opening up new doors for dialogue through art, but also will make me feel more connected with them too.

Imran Qureshi, setting up the Artwork: And They Still Seek The Traces of Blood, 2018 – produced and exhibited during ICAE2018 in Yerevan

 

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