Lorenzo Fusi has been named artistic director and chief curator of the inaugural Yerevan Biennial. The first iteration of the exhibition was scheduled to take place later this year in various venues across Armenia’s capital city. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the board of the Yerevan Biennial Art Foundation has postponed the event until next year. The new dates for the biennial are April 15–June 13, 2021.
“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,” said Fabio Lenzi, cofounder of the biennial foundation. “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.”
Prior to appointment Fusi, served as the artistic director of PIAC (Prix International d’Art Contemporain) of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco from 2014 to 2020; the visiting academic curator at the Alberta University of the Arts, where he directed the Illingworth Kerr Gallery between 2016 and 2018; and as director of Open Eye Gallery, one of the oldest not-for-profit photography galleries in the UK. He also previously worked as the international curator at the Liverpool Biennial, for which he curated the 2010 and 2012 editions, titled “Touched” and “The Unexpected Guest,” and as the chief curator at Palazzo delle Papesse Contemporary Art Centre and contemporary art curator of the Santa Maria della Scala museum hub in Siena, Italy.
Commenting on his new role, Fusi said: “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. . . .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 familiarize with this wonderful land holding significant religious and historical significance.”