Under Construction

Silvina Der-Meguerditchian (AR/DE) / Eléonore de Montesquiou (FR/EE/DE) / Olga Juergenson (EE/UK)

Under Construction

The platform ” UNDER_CONSTRUCTION” is meant as an experimental play. It presents a forum for frank dialogue on questions relating to identity, the potential for an identity beyond defined borders and notions passed on for generations, such as nationality, tradition and language taking example in the case of the Armenian Diaspora identity. This platform grow and ties it’s structure thru virtual visual dialogues followed by real dialogues in form of exhibitions, symposiums and meetings. The artists take care themselves for their own blog and the communication about content and strategies take its own rhythm.


The first dialogue sequence

he participant artists were in the first part of the project artists of Armenian descent whose biographies resemble a cultural patchwork. Armenia itself has become associated with the idea of a transnation which is constantly emerging and evolving – Under_Construction.

The second dialogue sequence: using the blog as artistic tool

xchange with Estonian or Estonia related artists with the goal to present this topic in a real exhibition in Tallinn 2009 (In cooperation with the curator Reet Varblane)
The second virtual dialogue project aims to go deeper in the visual dialog about an specific subject. Instead of general visual statements and answers presented in the homepage, the dialogs will take place monthly in blogs between pairs of artists. Formal every pair will have a blog. This makes possible that the other artists or invited persons take part in the visual “conversation” in form of commentaries or visual commentaries.

Why Estonia?

Estonia and Armenia have some points in common: Asking the artists to share the virtual visual dialogue with us helps to explore how normal and daily is the relationship of the Estonian or Estonia related artists to the web and if it belongs really to their life strategy. After reading different articles, the “westernisation” of the society over there is very strong supported by the virtual world, since they have the ground right to a internet connexion, they can vote per internet and make their paperwork thru internet (DER SPIEGEL Dec. 2007). Armenia, Armenian Diaspora and Estonia have small populations, both republics were part of the Soviet Union and have to deal with the consequences of Russian presence in their everyday life. Regarding the identity issue Estonia represents a very interesting investigation field because as post soviet country had recently experimented a deconstruction of a status quo and is in the main process to build a new one parallel to the process of becoming an European Union country. Artists coming from both “post national” contexts have experience with internal and external dismemberment and work with this issue in their artistic work. Nationalism is a big danger for countries that try desperately to hold their identity, this is the case of Armenia and the traditional Armenian Diaspora, and after the soldier affair experience weI would rather say that it concerns Estonia. It is possible to create a virtual reliable common ground with temporary allies to deal with common or similar topics, a virtual space that legitimate itself through its flexibility being confident that it will be there if you leave when you might come back?

Networker: Silvina Der-Meguerditchian (AR/DE)
Silvina Der-Meguerditchian is the granddaughter of Armenian immigrants to Argentina and was born in Buenos Aires in 1967. She grew up in Argentina and now lives in Berlin. A recurrent theme of her work is the remembrance of the ethnic dislocation of the Armenian people and the genocide they suffered. She uses photographic memorabilia and official documents and merges them in her crochet collages into individual painful stories. Silvina Der-Meguerditchian ties a net. She connects the disparate, builds bridges between worlds apart or seeks a dialogue with the unknown. Her work “Connexion Obsession” is emblematic for this artistic fervour. Her main focus is always on the actual process of joining and dissolving, constructing and deconstructing identity. Silvina Der-Meguerditchian’s work represents a type of mnemonics, namely the individual and collective art of commemoration.

Eléonore de Montesquiou (FR/EE/DE)
Eléonore de Montesquiou is a French-Estonian artist born in 1970, she lives and works in Berlin and Tallinn. In 2008, Eléonore de Montesquiou was awarded the Senat Stipendium (Berlin, Germany) for a film in Moscow. In 2006, she was awarded the Villa Médicis Hors les Murs in France, and a Senat Stipendium in Berlin to realise a film and publication in Poland with women who travel between Poland and Germany to earn a living: Podroznizcki („Travellers“). In 2005-2006, she worked on ATOM CITIES, a documentary project dealing with the Russian minorities living in ex-closed nuclear cities in Estonia. Eléonore de Montesquiou has been working since 1998 with the Galerie Zürcher in Paris. Her work is based on a documentary approach to reality, translated in films, drawings and texts.

Olga Juergenson (EE/UK)
Olga Jürgenson has been practicing as an artist since 1992 and has enjoyed an interesting journey from her Fine Art education focusing on Socialist Realism in St. Petersburg, Russia to current work as a contemporary New Media and Installation artist living and working in the UK. Jürgenson has held several solo exhibitions and has participated in group exhibitions and festivals across Europe, The Far East and Australia. Jürgenson has received several grants in Estonia, KulturKontakt in Vienna, Austria, Stiftung Kulturfonds in Germany, European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam, Holland, and Arts Council England East in the UK; she undertook several international residencies and fellowships. She is currently working on issues, which question serious social and political issues, but at the same time are accessible for a wider public by being both engaging and entertaining.