The Board of the Yerevan Biennial Art Foundation (YBAF) is delighted to announce the appointment of Lorenzo Fusi as its Artistic Director and Chief Curator of the inaugural Yerevan Biennial.
The first iteration of the Yerevan Biennial was scheduled to take place later this year across Armenia’s capital city, showcasing new and historical artworks in multiple venues alongside new commissions. However, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Board, alongside the newly appointed Lorenzo Fusi have decided to postpone the opening of the inaugural Biennial to the new year. The new dates for the exhibition are April 15–June 13, 2021.
Lorenzo Fusi (b. 1968) was the Artistic Director of PIAC (Prix International d’Art Contemporain) of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco between 2014-2020. He was the Visiting Academic Curator at the Alberta University of the Arts, where he directed the Illingworth Kerr Gallery between 2016-2018. Previously, he was the Director of Open Eye Gallery, one of the oldest not-for-profit photography galleries in the UK. Prior to this appointment, Fusi was the International Curator at the Liverpool Biennial, for which he curated the 2010 and 2012 renditions, titled Touched and The Unexpected Guest. Between 2001 and 2009 he was the Chief Curator at Palazzo delle Papesse Contemporary Art Centre, to then became the Contemporary Art Curator of the Santa Maria della Scala museum hub in Siena (Italy). Fusi regularly lectures at universities and has a portfolio of numerous curated exhibition projects, publications, and commissions. Full biography is available here.
Lorenzo Fusi said: “This appointment fills me with honour, but now also with a greater sense of responsibility. Armenia has declared a state of emergency due to the global COVID-19 crisis. As a consequence, we have decided to postpone the inaugural exhibition. However, it is our job to create and develop platforms for cultural exchange, dialogue and interaction that operate safely and yet connect people. With the lockdown in many countries, sociability, compassion, empathy and solidarity are now more important than ever. I hope that the physical distancing necessary to stop the virus will not lead to isolation within our society.”
“It is difficult in these somber times to be joyful and celebratory, but I truly think this is an amazing opportunity for artists from the region to connect with their counterparts all over the world, and for the world to familiarise with this wonderful land holding significant religious and historical significance.”
In this period of uncertainty and as an act of engagement and resistance, the Yerevan Biennial Art Foundation is developing a new digital strategy and is presently inviting ideas and proposals for shaping its new online platforms and generating new content.
Fabio Lenzi, co-founder of the Yerevan Biennial Art Foundation said: “With the Yerevan Biennial, we aim to foster a broader appreciation of contemporary culture in Yerevan and the region, complementing the existing infrastructure and its cultural offering. Most importantly, through our activity, we intend to empower today’s Armenian youth and create new professional paths for the future generations, particularly in the creative and cultural sector. We are planning numerous digital initiatives and projects designed to engage people of all ages, locally, nationally and internationally. We will focus on these elements until the physical experience of visiting an exhibition is safe again. We look forward to opening our doors to the public next Spring and welcoming you to Yerevan, an extraordinary city, known for its incredible hospitality and cultural heritage.”