11 Steps Ahead:
Future Forward Armenian American Visionaries
April 4 - May 24, 2019
While the original Italian Futurists applied their aesthetics and social practices of technology and the industrial city to diverse artistic mediums in order to emphasize a movement of youth and the “new,” futurism as a term has since been tied to other movements using myriad genres in order to advance thought and artistic output. Notably, Afrofuturism has long explored how aspects of the African diaspora intersect with technology by employing philosophy and science fiction among other forms to narrate a history and future that reflects an alternative imagining of culture.
The fate of Armenia and its own diaspora following the 1915 genocide saw a rapid dispersal of Armenians around the world, creating an integration of global influences and experiences in the Armenian people. Generations later, children of survivors of the genocide, born in diverse parts of the world and with wide-ranging cultural and artistic influences, have continued to alter their own histories – and futures – by inserting themselves into progressive artistic and scientific movements, no matter where they established new life.
The artists gathered here represent a shared inspiration from a constant exchange of diverse ideologies and cultures in the diaspora, each having created a unique sensitivity toward a certain future in their works. Their respective mediums – visual storytelling and graphic novels, production architecture, visual art, design, and music (cello) – tell a story of integrating history into a present image of reality in order to serve our collective future. These stories are fabricated both in the visual depictions of their imagery and music as well as the use of traditional materials and media of our present day.
- Margarita Simonian, resident and curator & Ben Evans, ace/121 Gallery director
Participating artists: Ian Dorian (Visual Storyteller and Graphic Novelist), Sevak Petrosian (Production Architect and Designer), Alexandre Marutian (Visual Artist and Designer), Artyom Manukyan (Cellist).