place/Alternative/"what for"

April 11, 2017 - May 15, 2017

A group exhibition organized by Sonia Balassanian in cooperation with Karen Andreasyan, Samuel and Manuel Baghdasaryans, Ara Hovsepyan, Araks Nerkararyan, Ashot Ashot, Sev and Stepan Veranyan, in 1992, became the preamble of foundation of ACCEA (NPAK in Armenian acronym). Formal opening of the venue of the center was announced on April 25, 1996, with a group exhibition of Armenian avant guard artists, called “Work In Progress”. In spite of formal nature of the event, NPAK pointedly did not declare a concept signifying its laying out its direction. Perhaps this was the reason that in the paper published on the occasion of the exhibition participating artists expressed contradictory opinions about the nature/character of the center.

Perhaps this shows NPAK’s absence of self-formulation due to its experimental nature: “It is being tried to use the innovative space to present the idea of inability of art to conform with itself, I.e. presenting contradictory types of art”.

In the milieu of conflicting concerns about art, the center, which strives for an objective, without following a concept, it appears that it is searching for its character in the question it poses to the artists in the context of the exhibition: “How would I like the Contemporary Experimental Art Center to be?”

Annual Festival of Alternative Art, being one of the principal axes of formation of NPAK, presents center’s activity’s analytical nature. Therefore it is this festival, which can provide an answer to questions concerning the character of NPAK. This year, the festival proposes to work on the question of “What is the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art?” ACCEA/NPAK, not being an entity opposing the past, today also is in need of formation.

The question presumes rethinking of ACCEA/NPAK by means of space-specific works, at NPAK as a venue, a space, and an idea. This rethinking is the underlying concern of the festival, the question “What for?”

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