Talk: Vartan Avakian

All That Is Seen And Unseen:
Vartan Avakian in conversation with Klea Charitou (Art Historian - Curator)
Thursday, 8 November 2018, 18.00
at Kalfayan Galleries, Athens

On the occasion of the closure of the artist’s solo exhibition "Residual Histories"
venue: Kalfayan Galleries, Athens

Short Biography

Vartan Avakian is a multidisciplinary artist, working with installation, video and photography. He studied Architecture and Urban Culture at the Universitat Politegravecnica de Catalunya and the CCCB, Barcelona, and Communication Arts at the Lebanese American University. Vartan Avakian is a founding member of “Atfal Ahdath”, a Beirut based art collective. Awards/Grants: Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Beirut, Lebanon (2014); Abraaj Group Art Prize (2013). He has exhibited throughout the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the US. Recent solo show: “All That is Seen and Unseen”, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. Upcoming group show: ”Light in Wartime”, Apexart, New York, USA.  Germany. Selected exhibitions: “That, Around Which The Universe Revolves - Chapter V”, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin; “Theatre of Measurement”, Kunsthaus München; “Thread”, Kalfayan Galleries, Athens (all in 2017); Esma’/Listen (Marcella Lista and Marie Muracciole), Beirut Art Center, Beirut; Project 35: The Last Act, Garage 35, Moscow (all in 2016);“The City in the City”, Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon; “Dust” (group show), Center for Contemporary Art -Ujazdowski Castle (curated by Anna Ptak, in collaboration with Amanda Abi Khalil), Warsaw; VideoWorks, Beirut; " Collapsing Clouds of Gas and Dust” (solo show), Marfa Projects, Beirut; “Collapsing Clouds of Gas and Dust and One Other story” (residency and solo show), Nile Sunset Annex, Cairo, Egypt (all in 2015); ‘InVisible – Public Art Commission’ (curated by Amanda Abi Khalil, produced by 17A Art Consultants/Hetal Pawani). Commissioned and funded by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Dubai; “Whistling in the Dark” (curated by Aischa Berg), Workshop Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon; Film (curated by David Gryn), Art Basel Miami Beach, Kalfayan Galleries (all in 2014); ‘InVisible – Public Art Commission’, Commissioned and funded by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Dubai; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; The Sultan Gallery, Kuwait; Wallach Art Gallery, New York; Transmediale 2K+12, Berlin (all 2012); Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York; Sharjah Biennial X; South London Gallery, London; Can Felipa, Barcelona; Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne; ACVIC, Vic; Cer Modern, Ankara; The Cube, Taipei; Museum Alex Mylona, Athens; Al Hoash, Jerusalem; The Goethe Institut, Cairo; 5th Indonesian International Video Festival, Jakarta; 33rd Cinemed, Montpellier; 2nd Antakya Biennial (all 2011); Home Works V, Beirut; Journées de la Photographie 10, Damascus; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; Beirut Art Center, Beirut (all 2010); Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo; Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Beirut (all 2009). Avakian is a founding member of "Atfal Ahdath", a Beirut based art collective. He lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon.

Klea Charitou is an art historian and curator based in Athens. After a BA in Greek Literature at Kapodistrian University of Athens she graduated with an MA in Art History from Aristotle University, Thessaloniki and a second MA in Curating from the University Rennes 2, Rennes. Currently PhD candidate in the School of Fine Arts of Athens she prepares a thesis titled “The relations between Logos and Art in the Greek art in the 1970s”. She has worked as a curatorial assistant for documenta 14 and she has been part of the Curatorial team of Kunsthalle Athena. She has collaborated in various projects, including: South as a State of Mind arts and culture magazine, This Is Not My Beautiful House, POLITICAL SPEECHES (Kunsthalle Athena), Cady Noland, (University Rennes2 and FRAC Bretagne), PAWNSHOP, E-FLUX Project (3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art), Demo #2, Architecture, Theory, Visual Arts, Design, Performance (DYNAMO project-space) and she has been curatorial fellow in different programs in Europe.


Vartan Avakian


Participating in a group show “Esma'/Listen” at the Beirut Art Center. The exhibition runs until 21st August 2016.


Vartan Avakian

First solo exhibition in Lebanon "Collapsing Clouds of Gas and Dust",at Marfa Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon.
22 October - 12 December 2015

Vartan Avakian


Group show “The City in the City” at the Sursock Museum, Twin Galleries, Beirut, Lebanon
8 October 2015 – 11 January 2016


Vartan Avakian



In a group show "Dust", curated by Anna Ptak and co-curator Amanda Abi Khalil at The Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
4 September - 15 November 2015



Vartan Avakian

Talk: “Imagined Shared Territories”

Vartan Avakian in conversation with Rima Mokaiesh (Arab Image Foundation), 'Freeport' – 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2014, Moditalia, Arsenale, Venice
Friday 12 September 2014, 12.25 am – 11.45 am


Vartan Avakian


“Whistling in the dark” (group show)

Curated by Aischa Berg

Workshop Gallery, W8 Building, Beirut, Lebanon

21 January – 1 March 2014


For more information:


Vartan Avakian

International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia
“House Arrests: Tales of the Hidden Inside”
Curated by Nat Muller
Special Screening: Thursday, 25 October 2012
Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal
“Project 35 chapter One”
25 October –1 December 2012
For more information:
Artists Talk: Megawra, Cairo
How I Started to Stutter: Action (in)jection. Language games, urban disjunction and a very personal reading of Lebanese action films.
Tuesday 30 October 2012
For more information:
Esker Foundation, Canada
“Project 35 chapter Four”
7 September 2012 – 5 January 2013
For more information:

Vartan Avakian and Hrair Sarkissian

Winner of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2013
For more information:

Hrair Sarkissian, Raed Yassin (Atfal Ahdath) and Vartan Avakian (Atfal Ahdath)

Arab Express: The Latest Art from the Arab World
Mori Art Museum,  53F Ropponngi Hills Mori Tower, Tokyo
16 June - 28 October 2012

All eyes are now on the contemporary artists of the Arab world.

From lifestyles to identity, the rapidly transforming Arab world possesses a diversity of cultures that cannot be overstated. And the traditions, religion, customs and aesthetics that constitute that diversity are vividly reflected in the work of the regions artists.
In the last few years, many exhibitions of contemporary art from the Arab world have been held globally, and within the region itself there are indications that the art industry is maturing, with Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art opening in Doha (Qatar) in 2010, and branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim Museum now under construction in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). “Arab Express” introducing the artworks by 34 artists from the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding Arab countries, is the first exhibition of its kind ever to be held in Japan.

This exhibition commemorates the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Kingdom of Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates; as well as the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

For further information please visit Mori Art Museum