22 August – 11 September 2016: IDeA and DDF Foundations, Armenia, announce the launch of DILIJAN ARTS OBSERVATORY ~ devised by Clémentine Deliss.
To create a place and an attitude worth defending... An exploring ground for possible thought to emerge... For the irregularity of what happens, and the
rarity of what lasts... (Clifford Geertz, anthropologist)
The first major international art event to take place in Armenia organised by the Dilijan Art Initiative, this experimental interdisciplinary think tank curated by Clémentine Deliss brings together an international group of artists, cultural historians and environmental scientists to Armenia for the first Dilijan Arts Obser- vatory from 22 August – 11 September 2016. This new initiative is supported by philanthropists Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend, Founders of the UWC Dilijan College, RVVZ and IDeA charitable foundations, and Co-Founders of Dilijan Development Foundation (DDF), as well as another DDF Co- Founder Gagik Adibekyan who is also the Founder of Adibekyan Foundation.
In the ancient spa town and mountain retreat of Dilijan—which once hosted composers such as Dmitri Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten among other luminaries—a group of historians and practitioners will unite to undertake a cultural archaeology of the town, working closely with its citizens and identifying local wisdom and folkways. Fieldwork activities will include investigating style, crafts, graphics; music, compo- sition and astronomy; Soviet architecture and design; culinary knowledge; and wilderness, botany and future products for survival. The Observatory will take place
in Dilijan and neighbouring villages, adopting the former “Impuls” electronics factory in Dilijan as its headquar- ters. A classic example of Soviet industrial architecture, 4000 employees once worked in the Impuls factory under the order of the Soviet Defence Ministry, before it was privatised.
On 10th and 11th September 2016, a two-day public event will be held in Dilijan, presenting the results
with a series of events, including an all-night symphony, culinary festivities, performances and exhibitions, as well as an international round-table debate on educational models for a future academy of “art and life practices”.
The outcomes of the Dilijan Arts Observatory will feature in exhibitions at the leading national art museums in Europe: at the National Gallery of Contemporary
Art, “Hamburger Bahnhof”, Berlin, in November 2017, and at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, in summer 2018.
Dilijan Arts Observatory participants: Vahram Aghasyan (AM), Haig Aivazian (CA), Alen Amirkhanian (AM), Ruben Arevshatyan (AM), Vardan Azatyan (AM), Erik van Buuren (NL), Katerina Chuchalina (RU), Vardan Danielyan (AM), Mohamad Deeb (LB), Clémentine Deliss (GB), Silvina Der Meguerditchian (AM), Arpad Dobriban (DE), Andrew de Freitas (NZ), David Galstyan (AM), Vigen Galstyan (AM), Natasha Gasparian (LB), Raphaela Grolimund (CH), Angela Harutyunyan (AM), Krispin Heé (CH), Misha Hollenbach, Perks and Mini (AU), Marc Norbert Hörler (CH), Marianna Hovhannisyan (AM), Christoph Keller (DE), Aram Keryan (AM), Nairi Khatchadourian (AM), Antje Majewski (DE), Augustin Maurs (FR), Ioana Mitrea (RO), Maria Mkrtycheva (RU), Mathilde Rosier (CH), Marcello Spada (IT), Pascal Storz (CH), Shauna Toohey, Perks and Mini (AU), Joanna Sokolowska (PL), Hasmik Ter-Voskanian (AM), Vangjush Vellahu (AL), Jasmine Werner (DE), Asya Yaghmurian (AM), Nork Zakarian (EG).
The Dilijan Arts Observatory has been devised by
Dr. Clémentine Deliss, an international curator and anthropologist; Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin, former Director of the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt (2010–2015), Director of the International research lab Future Academy (2002–2009), and publisher of Metronome and Metronome Press (1996–2007).