Mkrtich Tonoyan is an Armenian-based conceptual artist who creates performance work and installations influenced by Alexander Melkonyan’s theory and practice of “Military Art.” Military Art is conceived as a strategy of resistance to the violence and domination of hegemonic power via the re-appropriation of military aesthetics and artefacts. Tonoyan’s performative actions are designed to interrogate the hierarchies and binaries of hegemonic militaristic thinking, such as war and peace, moral and immoral, good and evil—perspectives that, he argues, limit knowledge and cripple diversity of perspective.
Active in the contemporary art world since graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Yerevan in 2002, Tonoyan has presented projects at numerous national and international art events and galleries including: the Gyumri Biennale (Armenia), the Artistirium (Georgia), FormVerk (Sweden), the HweiLan International Artists Workshop (Taiwan), the Thessaloniki Biennale (Greece), the Stuttgarter Kunstverein (Germany), the Water Tower Festival (Bulgaria), Cló artists’ workshop (Ireland), Galerie La Vielle Poste and Artcore Gallery (France). He regularly presents lectures on his work and Armenian contemporary art and is President of ACOSS: Armenian Art Center of Social Studies.
He will be active as artist-in-residence at Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum (2013) and guest artist in Visual Arts (University of Regina, 2015-16), where he will develop pieces linked to questions of trauma, memory and migration from the military perspective, and he will participate in activities surrounding MITM Station 2: #3CL, Station 8: Armenian Film Series, and Station 10: MITM Symposium.