Public intervention Northern Avenue, Yerevan
27. 10. 2012
Curated by Susanna Gyulamiryan
Veronika Tzekova is an artist, urban practitioner and creative strategist. Her work concentrates on articulating and conceptualizing in the fields of art and design, and in the broad spectrum of public spaces and urban imaginaries. In the last couple of years her artistic process and production have been inspired and evolved around urban environment and the currently intense social and economic dynamics. She has employed various forms of play in her recent work as an artist and urban practitioner. Temporary urban processes and their visual expressions have interested her for a long time. At this point in her career, her field research and artistic outcomes have focused on and emerged from encounters with urban districts in different cities.
Many of her projects are culture specific and are perceived as public-minded art. They address the communicative needs of specific locations and situations. Generally their objective is visually condensing, emphasizing and finger pointing. In her recent work as an artist and urban practitioner she has used games (and toys) as an art form and metaphor of life, in order to achieve active audience participation in the artwork and a connection to public spaces.
As a commitment to her own individual and artistic interest in urban spaces, Veronica Tzekova carried out a research series in Yerevan city. As a result, the artists selected the Northern Avenue for a new public intervention entitled “LOVE of POWER of LOVE…”. The choice of the Northern Avenue in Yerevan was not spontaneous - the artist “plays” with ambiguous signifiers, framing and filling up the above-mentioned place. Apart from extensive construction works of the “top-to-bottom” proclaimed “re-modernization” of the city, the new processes have brought up issues related to privacy, human rights, social co-existence with constant distortions of their principles on every level: civil, social, political.
On the other hand, the Northern Avenue is a politically-charged location. It is the symbol of the struggle that emerged in the 2008 social and civil rights movement in Armenia, a struggle between two social strata, it was also a struggle for the protection of democratic values. Beginning on March 1, the movement was severely challenged by the ruling power and its subordinates. The national army and riot police proceeded with the “decapitation” of the movement. Many people were killed (according to official data), a considerable number of activists were arrested (many of them are still in jail), rallies were banned in all public areas. On the other hand, the place symbolizes the processes of commercialization, re-urbanization and large-scale gentrification that originated since the beginning of 2000s.
The project has been realized in the framework of the “Art Commune” International AIR Program (ACSL) as part of the HEICO Residency Exchange of curators and artists from Armenia (host side ATA, Plovdiv) and Bulgaria (host side ACSL, Yerevan).