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National post-conceptualism, 1995–98
Angela Harutyunyan

4 The revenge of the ‘painterly real’: national post-conceptualism, 1995–98 The tradition of Armenian painting that was started with Saryan and continued by Minas [Avetisyan] and [Harutyun] Kalents reaches its culmination in my work presented here. [I could call these] Armenian textual colorations. David Kareyan, 19961 I remember that these artists called their earlier works ‘ideas’. But what is an idea? It is our desire that tries to catch up with reality. We constantly live within a fluid time and in a fluid space. These artists approach reality while many

in The political aesthetics of the Armenian avant-garde
ACT’s procedures of ‘pure creation’, 1993–96
Angela Harutyunyan

Suspending the ‘painterly real’ Suspending the ‘painterly real’: ACT’s procedures of ‘pure creation’, 1993–96 In 1994 we are at the threshold of a new way of thinking about art as having been overcome, and with its principal basis – ‘pure creation’ – now being displayed. I am placing special emphasis on the word display because if creation is not fixed, it remains in the unconscious and does not enter our worldview and belief system. David Kareyan, 19941 Through transparent walls it becomes possible to touch, examine and control the environment. The sanitary

in The political aesthetics of the Armenian avant-garde
Resurrected ghosts, living heroes and saintly saviours on the 3rd Floor, 1987–9 4
Angela Harutyunyan

The ‘painterly real’ of contemporary art 2 The ‘painterly real’ of contemporary art: resurrected ghosts, living heroes and saintly saviours on the 3rd Floor, 1987–94 The cultural vanguard of the officially sanctioned opposition This chapter discusses the 3rd Floor – an artistic movement1 of the late Soviet and early independence years in Armenia (1987–94) – in its complex relationship with the cultural politics of the perestroika period, the official art of the Union of Artists of the Soviet Republic of Armenia, and the changing world of the late Soviet years

in The political aesthetics of the Armenian avant-garde
Angela Harutyunyan

The reign of the ‘painterly real’ and the politics of crisis 5 The reign of the ‘painterly real’ and the politics of crisis, 1999–2004 This closing chapter offers a reading of the work of two artists of the 1990s and early 2000s – David Kareyan and Narek Avetisyan, both previously members of the group ACT – and discusses their works in the context of social, political, technological as well as cultural shifts in Armenia. The two artists’ works, I argue, epitomize the contradictions of turn-of-the-century Armenia. I define this context as a crisis of politics

in The political aesthetics of the Armenian avant-garde
The journey of the ‘painterly real’, 1987–2004

The book addresses late-Soviet and post-Soviet art in Armenia in the context of turbulent social, political and cultural transformations in the late 1980s, throughout the 1990s and in early 2000s through the aesthetic figure of the ‘painterly real’ and its conceptual transformations. It explores the emergence of ‘contemporary art’ in Armenia from within and in opposition to the practices, aesthetics and institutions of Socialist Realism and National Modernism. The book presents the argument that avant-garde art best captures the historical and social contradictions of the period of the so-called ‘transition,’ especially if one considers ‘transition’ from the perspective of the former Soviet republics that have been consistently marginalized in Russian- and East European-dominated post-Socialist studies. Throughout the two decades that encompass the chronological scope of this work, contemporary art has encapsulated the difficult dilemmas of autonomy and social participation, innovation and tradition, progressive political ethos and national identification, the problematic of communication with the world outside of Armenia’s borders, dreams of subjective freedom and the imperative to find an identity in the new circumstances after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This historical study outlines the politics (liberal democracy), aesthetics (autonomous art secured by the gesture of the individual artist), and ethics (ideals of absolute freedom and radical individualism) of contemporary art in Armenia. Through the historical investigation, a theory of post-Soviet art historiography is developed, one that is based on a dialectic of rupture and continuity in relation to the Soviet past. As the first English-language study on contemporary art in Armenia, the book is of prime interest for artists, scholars, curators and critics interested in post-Soviet art and culture and in global art historiography.

The conceptual horizons of the avant-garde in Armenia
Angela Harutyunyan

an ideal (and this is what it shared with Socialist Realism) understood as a distinct realm of spiritual culture. This ideal is materially rooted in the ‘painterly real’, understood as that which secures art’s separateness from the social world. The constitution of the ‘painterly real’ itself was a historical process that took place alongside the construction of Armenian national culture over the twentieth century, within the cultural logic of the Soviet Union. In reference to the nation as a historical content with its distinct spiritual culture and painting as

in The political aesthetics of the Armenian avant-garde
Abstract only
Angela Harutyunyan

book does not offer a general survey of contemporary art in Armenia: many important protagonists and discourses are not discussed, and a certain historical lineage has been constructed at the expense of other relations. Instead, the book proposes a study of the selected instances of contemporary art – of artistic, institutional and art critical practices – that provide a window to the aesthetic and historical logic that underlies these practices. I call this logic the ‘painterly real’. Painting, therein, is considered an underlying condition – even when there is no

in The political aesthetics of the Armenian avant-garde
Rethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract
Author: Ming-Yuen S. Ma

There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.

The introduction of the curatorial function
Octavian Esanu

Journey of the Painterly Real (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017). 13 Urve Küttner, Video Installation “Situation.” Project description for the exhibition Estonia as a Sign: 4th Annual Exhibition of the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia, September 26 – October 1 , curated by Ants Juske (Tallinn: Soros Center for Contemporary Arts, 1996), unpaginated

in The postsocialist contemporary