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Armenity: Armenia at the 2015 Venice Biennale

Neery Melkonian

Neery Melkonian explores the significance of the Armenity pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

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July 2016


Armenity: Armenia at the 2015 Venice Biennale

In a set of interviews for AGBU WebTalks, art historian, critic and curator Neery Melkonian explores the significance of the year 2015 in Armenian contemporary and modern art. In this video, she discusses the Armenity exhibition at the 2015 Venice Biennale, the year that marked the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, when the Armenian Pavilion, for the first time in its 20-year history devoted the exhibition to the diaspora and won the prestigious Golden Lion award for Best National Pavilion.


Modern and contemporary art historian and educator Neery Melkonian (1955-2016) was an independent researcher, curator, and writer based in New York City. Over the course of her professional career, Melkonian served as Director of the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe (NM), Associate Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (NY), and organized over 20 solo exhibitions including works by Richard Long, Petah Coyne, James Luna, Celia Alvarez Munoz, Jim Hodges and other well-known artists. Her freelance curatorial work with commercial galleries included Armenian diaspora artists such as Zadik Zadikian, Seta Manoukian, Ardash, and Onnig Kardash, among others. One of her most recent projects, Blind Dates: New Encounters from the Edges of a Former Empire, co-curated with Defne Ayas, explored the traces of peoples, places and cultures that once constituted the diverse geography of the Ottoman Empire. Melkonian also served as founding director for the Accented Feminism: Armenian Women and Art, from Representation to Self-Representation project and for NK Arts, a small non-profit dedicated to stimulating economic growth and social recovery in Nagorno Karabakh.