Industrial Symphony: photography and the post-industrial age

Industrial Symphony: photography and the post-industrial age is a project curated by Vigen Galstyan and jointly conceived by Lusadaran Armenian Photography FoundationReArk Architectural Environmental Centre and web portal.

Anahit Hayrapetyan. 'Metsamor' nuclear plant. Corridor. 2011. inkjet print

Anahit Hayrapetyan. 'Metsamor' nuclear plant. Corridor. 2011. inkjet print

Opening on the 3rd of December, 2011 at the Armenian Centre of Contemporary Experimental Arts in Yerevan (ACCEA) ‘Industrial symphony: photography and the post-industrial age’ encompasses various disciplines, approaches and aesthetics, from latest photojournalistic series to conceptually informed, neo-expressionist and formalist studies by 19 contemporary Armenian photographers.  Collectively, all the works looks at how perceptions regarding the industrial era have been transformed since its demise in Armenia in the early 1990s.

Irina Grigoryan. from 'Gortsaranayin' series. 2010, gelatin silver photograph

Comprised of over seventy works, the exhibition is also a unique overview of the multifarious ways in which contemporary photography is developing in Armenia. As curator Vigen Galstyan states in the exhibition’s brochure, “the primary issue that comes through these recent surveys of industrial sites/symbols in Armenia and elsewhere is whether the vacuum left after the industrial collapse can be filled at all. Is this emptiness significant in itself, like a painful document, a metaphor… or can factories of labour be transformed in our post-utopian age? Perhaps these intimidating, overwhelming but often magnificent and awe- inspiring spaces can attain a new, equally useful function as sites for imagination: as factories for dreams.”

The exhibition consists of two parts. It includes works by contemporary photographers from the past twenty years and a small retrospective section of works from the 1960-70s by a classic of Armenian industrial photography, Hakob Hekekyan . A virtual and print-on-demand versions of the catalogue will be available in February.
The exhibition also has a competitive section. The jury, comprised of art historian Vardan Azatyan (Armenia) and film historian Chaga Yuzbashyan (France) will present prizes in two categories. ‘Lusadaran’ award for contemporary photography is an acquisitive prize to the value of US$550. It has been generously sponsored by Armenian entrepeneur Vachagan Petrosyan. A second, non-acquisitive prize to the value of US$250 has been nominated by portal’s creator Art Ghazaryan.

The project has been greatly aided by generous financial assistance from Vahagn Nazaryan (Australia) and Hakob Vardanyan (Australia). The media-partner of the exhibition is website.

‘Industrial symphony’ will remain open from the 3rd of December to the 27th of January 2012. ACCEA is closed for winter holidays between December 16 and January 15.

Read the exhibition brochure essay here.

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