Republic of Armenia Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale
Image rights: Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg / Beirut
Merging the personal and geo-political, artist, writer, and curator Haig Aivazian explores globalization and its economic, social, and political toll on individuals and nations. As he describes: “I will look into a larger historical occurrence and intertwine it with more personal occurrences, drawing parallels between the macro and micro narratives […].” These occurrences range from the Olympics to Dubai’s urbanization to his father’s death. His work encompasses what he calls “lecture/performances,” video, and installations, and is shaped by his Lebanese upbringing and his fascination with the efficacy of text and language. Text, including advertisements, signage, and theoretical writings, grounds his practice. For Aivazian, even architecture is a form of rhetoric. In The Unimaginable Things We Build (2011-12), for example, he presents Dubai’s Burj Khalifa as a rhetorical and physical expression of the uneasy relationship between local needs and global power.
Lebanese, b. 1980, Beirut, Lebanon, based in Chicago, Illinois