Kiss the Ground—A New Armenia

NEW!

Kiss the Ground—A New Armenia was organized to examine the art of a select group of fourteen Armenian American artists whose work addresses issues of loss, identity, memory, place, displacement, and injustice in light of their shared ancestral Armenian past. In the words of Donald Bloxham, author of The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (2005), “The massive trauma inflicted on the collective consciousness of the Armenian people is an open wound, continually aggravated by the refusal to acknowledge its infliction.” One hundred years after the planned elimination of Asia Minor Armenians, and seventy-four years after Raphael Lemkin coined the word “genocide,” Kiss the Ground—A New Armenia is a contemporary portrait of a people still finding and standing their ground in the world at large.

Kiss the Ground—A New Armenia exhibition examines the myriad ways contemporary Armenian American artists have managed their challenging cultural, historical, and political situation. Utilizing a variety of mediums and genres, some artists in the exhibition embrace their heritage and family histories, while others do not. The choice to engage with a difficult past is a personal one for artists and families alike; Kiss the Ground explores the variety of creative expression regarding these artists’ post-traumatic history. Each artist in his/her own way contributes something vital to the collective memory and struggles of the Armenian people and culture as the Armenian Genocide of one hundred years ago continues to impact Armenians around the globe in their struggle to thrive as a distinct ethnic group.

Armenian artists have always incorporated the traditions of their own past, by referencing not only their own culture, but also their surrounding cultures too, simultaneously infusing contemporary interests into their overall eclectic aesthetic. Kiss the Ground, then, is the extended acts of a great many people to construct A New Armenia. The combined creative acts of all the Kiss the Ground artists embody the pursuit of justice over the last century, even as the origins of their turmoil go back into antiquity.

According to the Armenian National Institute (ANI) in Washington, DC, the Armenian culture—the first Christian Nation—is one of the oldest in the world, having occupied the Caucasus region, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia for more than 3,000 years. At one time, the kingdom of Armenia stretched from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Seas and has been divided among foreign empires, including the Romans, Arabs, Persians, Ottomans, and Russians. In April 1915, the Ottoman Turkish government initiated the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Christian population. Armenians were massacred or deliberately deported and starved to death in the Syrian Desert between 1915 and 1923. Armenian churches, schools, villages, and towns were destroyed and thousands of Armenian children became homeless orphans. An estimated one million had perished by 1918, while hundreds of thousands had become homeless and stateless refugees. By 1923, virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolian Turkey had disappeared. It has been estimated that between these respective peoples, upwards of two million people died during this eight-year period.

This multidisciplinary exhibition features the work of Gagik Aroutiunian, John Avakian, Gail Boyajian, Adrienne Der Marderosian, Roger Hagopian, Lucine Kasbarian, Aida Laleian, Jackie Kazarian, Talin Megherian, Yefkin Megherian, Kevork Mourad, Marsha Odabashian, Jessica Sperandio, and Apo Torosyan.

This exhibition is an adaptation of Kiss the Ground, a five-part exhibition series centering on the work of Armenian artists, presented by the Thompson Gallery in collaboration with the Armenian Museum of America. The Thompson Gallery at the Cambridge School of Weston, Weston, MA is a teaching gallery dedicated to exploring single themes through three separate exhibitions, offering differing vantages of the selected topic.

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Tour Schedule

Kiss the Ground—A New Armenia is touring August 2020 through September 2025. The dates below reflect ten-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact MoreArt@maaa.org or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.

Exhibition Details

Approximately fifty-five works of fine art

  • Content

    Fee Includes
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Gallery Guide
    Text Panels
    Narrative Labels
    Full Insurance
    Installation Instructions
    Custom-Designed and Built Crates

  • Curated By

    ExhibitsUSA

  • Organized By

    The Thompson Gallery in collaboration with The Armenian Museum of America

  • Out-of-Region Rental Fee

    $6,800

  • In-Region Rental Fee

    4,080

  • Duration

    10-week display

  • Shipping

    Fine Art

  • Running Feet

    200

  • Square Feet

    100

  • Security

    Moderate B

  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    Five crates estimated/TBD

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.