Haig Aivazian
Hastayim Yasiyorum | 2016
Dark and light Mahogany, Ebony and Kelebek ornementations, varnish. 104 x 210 x 50 cm.

Hastayim Yasiyorum (I am Sick but I am Alive) is a project which includes sculpture, drawing, live performance and video. The works reflect on the history and contemporary state of modal “Oriental” music after the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of nationalism amidst the regional drive towards modernity. It was in this period that ethnomusicologists collected and arranged pieces of rural folklores, to construct out of them musical repertoires that reflected pure national identities. Aivazian uses as starting point Turkish-Armenian oud master Udi Hrant Kenkulian (1901-1978), a significant contributor to Turk Sanat Muzigi (Turkish Art Music): a salon style music derived from Ottoman classics but incorporating influences from Western classical music – a hybrid style central to the new and so-called progressive republican identity. Aivazian creates a sensory experience of the particular textures, sounds, and images, which become the carriers of historical resonances, also contained in musicians’ bodies, the bellies of their instruments, and the materials of the buildings that house them. He seeks to capture these often inaudible resonances by reflecting on displacements and amnesias, as well as resiliencies and remembrances in the face of the many ailments that continue to flood the region today.

Reference HA-ISO-2016-A

Biography of the artist

Born in Beirut. 1980
Works and Lives in Beirut

Haig Aivazian is an artist, curator and writer. Using performance, video, drawing, installation and sculpture, his work weaves together personal and geo-political, micro and macro narratives in its search for ideological loopholes and short circuits. Aivazian holds an MFA from Northwestern University and is a Skowhegan alumni (2011). His work has been exhibited in France, Germany, Austria, Lebanon, the U.A.E, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S.A. Refugee Olympics, part of the FUGERE project, was commissioned for Sharjah Biennial 9 (2009) Other parts of FUGERE were exhibited in a solo show in Sfeir-Semler gallery’s Hamburg space (2013). Collapsing Foundations, an installation and video performance work, was showcased in a solo exhibition at Parisian Laundry’s bunker space, Montréal (2012). He has exhibited, and performed at various venues including at the FRAC Aquitaine (2016), Seurasaari Museum (2016), the Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut (2016), The Museum of Modern Art Warsaw (2015), The Moving Museum (2014), Asia Society (2014), the Kölnischer Kunstverein (2014), Homeworks 6 (2013), FIDMarseille (2012). After a residency at Kadist, Paris he opened his solo exhibition ‘1440 sunsets per 24 hours’ in June 2017. Aivazian’s video works have been included in several exhibitions and festivals including at Mercer Union, Toronto (2011), Art Dubai (2012), FIDMarseille (2012) and videobrasil’s Southern Panoramas (2013). Among his curated exhibitions are: Roads Were Open/Roads Were Closed at The Third Line, Dubai (2008); and Plot for a Biennial, Sharjah Biennial 10 (2011), of which he was Associate Curator. Aivazian has written for a number of publications including Afterall Journal, Manifesta Journal, FUSE, Adbusters, Ibraaz, Bidoun, AMCA (Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey), The Arab Studies Journal as well as several exhibition catalogues. He is currently based in Beirut.