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The International Artists Association of Monaco presents exhibition ‘LIGHT!’ featuring six young Armenian Artists

The annual thematic exhibition of the International Artists Association of Monaco with the UNESCO and under the patronage of SAS Prince Albert II is taking place at the Salle d’Exposition du Quai Antoine 1er. This year, six young ARMENIAN ARTISTS will exhibit along the artists of the association.

The theme for the 2023 edition has been chosen in consideration to our present global situation. A time of uncertainty, instability and permanent fear. The Salon 2023 aims to be a pleasant, luminous time for the public; a manifestation of enlightenment through the union of artists. We believe in the power of light, insight and care; in the necessity of guidance and encouragement, observance through foreigner’s glance, aside this shaded period.

Art is inherent to light. It appears in the caves, by the fire glow; shadows are contouring and forms appearing. Ever since Antiquity, the artist understands these characteristics as essential to capture and convert with firmness what he perceives. This interplay of lights and shadows will span our entire history till our present times. Incarnating a strong symbolism, associated to supremacy and the divine, light will strive for glory as much as spirituality. Architectures, Roman, Gothic, Orthodoxe or Byzantine, have invariably been thought jointly to light. In painting, it significantly appears with the work of artists from the XIVth century, such as Giotto or Fra Angelico, whom will materialize it through the use of gold. An element that vanishes with the Renaissance and the appearance of oil paint out of which artists will develop individual techniques in order to reach the most ideal state of representation – let’s think about De Vinci, Van Eyck. Lights and shadows will enhance narratives through the clair-obscur, whom Caravaggio or Rembrandt are the most manifest examples. Romantics will use it to intensify mysticism and it will probably find its apogee in the works of Turner followed by the ones of the Impressionists. Evidently, the use of light in art history runs conjointly to technological developments, as it turns out with the main inventions of the XIXth century, electricity and photography. The question of the trace, the imprint, as well as the artistic action, through light, is constitutional to this new medium – a photosensitive mechanism which can materialize the phenomenon of light. The allurement of making appear what is not visible. Light therefore becomes material, giving birth to all the experiments of the beginning and mid XXth century: Man Ray’s solarizations, Picasso’s light drawings, Fontana’s luminous writings and begins to considerably involve space and environment until eventually becoming an object, standing by itself, notably with the neons of Dan Flavin. Artists from the second half of the XXth century, entirely emancipated from the idea of mimesis, will explore the phenomenological aspects and effects of art, questioning, altering our modes of perceptions by playing with the limits of sensitive forms and the many possibilities of transformation. The art of lightning itself has inspired artists to recount their enchanting tales, creating surprising environments, like in Christian Boltanski’s ‘Theater of Shadows’ or Tim Noble et Sue Webster’s sculptural installations. Thus, the treatment of light in the modern times doesn’t reside on instants of tension or splendor, but in highlighting a multitude of lectures.

Might it be technical or metaphorical, light has to be found all along our history. It guides it, reveals it and, in fine, transcends it.

AIAP 2023 exhibition 'LIGHT!'

Valeria ABBO – Mireille AMAR – Pierre-François BELLETINI – Valerie BERNARD – Carole BRUTTON – Ivana BORIS – Marie CAGNASSO – Bianca CALOI DI GRASSI – Martine CHIODININISIO – Michel CLARET – Augustin COLOMBANI – Elke DAEMMRICH – Nick DANZIGER – Josephine DIONISETTI – Serge DOS SANTOS – Florien FERRUA – Giacinto FORMETINI – Marie-Laure GARCIA – Christian GIORDAN – Tuula HIRVONEN – Laurent LASSOURCE – Jean-Pierre LUMINET – Philippe MARDINI – Thomas MODSCHIEDLER – Michel NIZIO – Fortune NOEL – Ania PABIS GUILLAUME – Michel RE- COULES – Rita SAITTA – Bolonie SHUHAIBAR – Luke STEVENS – Marcela SVATON – Marie-Aimée TIROLE – Ugo TORNATORE – ARTISTES INVITEES (ARMENIE): Siranush AGHAJANYAN – Melissa DADOURIAN – Roza GAZARIAN (collaboration piece with Anna ARISTOVA) – Irina GRIGORYAN – Gohar MARTYROSYAN (collaboration piece with Vardan HARUTYUNYAN and Kay KHACHATRYAN) – Rebecca TOPAKIAN (collaboration piece with Araks SAHAKYAN).

The Salon 2023, organised by the International Artist Association of Monaco, under the patronage of the UNESCO, is shedding light this year on Armenia. Every edition is an occasion to invite artists of a foreigner country to exhibit conjointly in the Salle d’Exposition du Quai Antoine 1er in order to share and meet other cultures. The AIAP encourages these exchanges all year long through many other international exhibitions creating substantial ties with our neighbours by engaging collaborations on the long term. These participations strengthen the connections, reinforce the associative action and constantly open new perspectives on each side. They underline the determination of the AIAP to develop artistic practice in the principality of Monaco, promoting its diffusion abroad, understanding the importance of these artistic collaborations for mutual comprehension and the reinforcement of shared humanity. This vision constitutes the essence of the UNESCO missions and is compounded to the AIAP actions.

This year, we hope contributing in rising the attention around Armenia, a country haunted by ancient culture and traditions which has seen throughout the centuries up to nowadays, its land progressively diminish, engendering the life of the popula- tion as much as its patrimony. It is therefore necessary to share and transmit this heritage fiercely preserved by its citizens. A telluric and sacred culture which is carried by every Armenian (2.8 millions living in Armenia upon the Data World Bank and 6 up to 8 millions, depending on the sources, living abroad) – traditions that nourish essential values to build up on our future. This powerful vibration is often recalled by the ones traveling the Armenian land, a territory set in the altitude, essentially made out of rock and volcanic mounts. Influenced by many different cultures surrounding it, Armenia has a very rich history although relentlessly disrupted by invasions. The country developed, despite its permanent resistance, ancestral techniques which attest of its complex influences. Essentially Christian, Armenia possesses a valuable and extensive architectural patrimony of churches, monasteries and Katchkars – monumental carved cross-stones, specific and characteristic to Armenian art. Craftsmanship of leather, textile – particularly the art of weaving tapestries, ceramics as much as the arts, notably through literature, poetry, music and dance, have a major place in the Armenian culture.

For this exhibition, the space has been given to six young women Armenian artists, ci- tizens of the country or part of the diaspora, all attesting through their artistic practice of that powerful bond to their origin. Evocation of the earth, of the architecture, of the savoir-faire; questions about identity and memory, the diaspora survives through those common narratives. What about the artists on site, stayed on that once Greater Armenia?

In parallel to the salon, the Monegasque Red-Cross will showcase the work of photographer Nick Danziger, a photo-reportage in partnership with the Red-Cross, about the life of the elders in Armenia.

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