Hamlet Hovsepian, Itch, 1975 (film still)
Hamlet Hovsepian, born in Ashnak near Yerewan in 1950, numbers among the most interesting pioneers of conceptual art in the former Soviet states. In the spirit of his geographic isolation in the Armenian provinces, Hovsepian has developed an extraordinary independent aesthetic vocabulary, one which he has realized since the early 1970s in the most diverse media, including film, performance, and, in the last years, video and painting as well. The exhibition at Badischer Kunstverein - the first solo presentation of Hovsepian's works in the German-speaking world - focusses on an ensemble of films produced during the mid-1970s which unfolds a basic alphabet of bodily gestures which attempts to wrest a space of existential freedom from the ubiquitous presence of Soviet ideology. Despite his utter independence, Hovsepian has effected a radical language of filmic reduction which displays astonishing parallels with Western developments, as seen for example in the works of Bas Jan Ader and Vito Acconci, as well as in Andy Warhol's "Screen Tests".
Hamlet Hovsepian (*1950) lives and works in Ashnak, Armenia.
Exhibitions (selection): 2011 New Museum, New York. 2010 Centre of Contemporary Art, Torun, Poland; MuHKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp. 2009 11th Istanbul Biennale; ACCEA, Jerewan, Armenia. 2007 Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Musée d'Art Moderne St-Etienne; Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon. 2006 Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt. 2004 4th Gyumri Biennale, Armenia. 2003 Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna.
2001 49th Biennale Venice. 2000 CHA, Moskow. 1992 Grand Palais, Paris.
The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna.
With kind support from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Baden-Württemberg.