Armenian pavilion wins Golden Lion for best national pavilion at Venice Biennale

Armenian pavilion wins Golden Lion for best national pavilion at Venice Biennale
Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, Treasures, 2015. Courtesy of the artist © Piero Demo

13 May 2015

The Armenian pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale has won the Golden Lion for best national pavilion. The pavilion, Armenity, features a group exhibition by 18 diaspora Armenian artists and grandchildren of survivors of the Armenian genocide, who the jury praised for “forming a pavilion based on a people in diaspora, each artist engaging their specific locality as well as their heritage”.

“In a year that witnesses a significant milestone for the Armenian people, this pavilion marks the resilience of trans-cultural confluence and exchanges,” the jury said. Armenity was curated by Adeline Cuberyan von Furstenberg, a Swiss citizen of Armenian origin known for her pioneering approach to contemporary art.

One of the works was from Milan-based couple Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, whose 1986 video Return to Khodorciur: Armenian Diary, featured the testimony of Gianikian’s father, who recalls his experience as one of the survivors of the Armenian genocide in 1915.

“Whether they were born in Beirut, Lyon, Los Angeles, or Cairo and wherever they may reside, these global citizens constantly question and reinvent their Amenity,” organisers wrote of the artists.

American artist Adrian Piper was awarded Golden Lion for best artist.