Station 7 | Mkrtich Tonoyan: Forays in Military Art
Camouflage: 5th Parallel Gallery, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, October 17 – 28, 2016
Roll Call: University of Regina Academic Green, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, October 25-28, 2016 10:00am-4:00pm
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, November 4-5, 11:00am-11:00am
Contested Borderlands: Armenia, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, December 10, 2016 – January 15, 2017
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.
Tonoyan will participate as artist-in-residence at Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum (2013) and in Visual Arts (University of Regina, 2015-16), where he will develop a suite of three pieces linked to questions of trauma, memory and migration from the military perspective: "Camouflage," "Roll Call," and "Contested Borderlands: Armenia." He will also engage in activities surrounding MITM Station 2: #3CL, Station 4: Saskatchewan Gothic, Station 8: Armenian Film Series, and Station 10: MITM Symposium. See: http://tonoyan.com
Camouflage is a “camouflage monument” in which tactical military material designed for concealment in battle is suspended and sculpturally transformed into an organic mass which takes on critical contemplative weight and substance in the context of memorializing soldiers’ memory and trauma in the gallery space.
Roll Call is a mobile “audio monument” by an Armenian brother-in-arms to commemorate fallen Canadian soldiers, as Tonoyan reads the names of 15,000 Canadians killed in historical battles, from World War 1 to Afghanistan.
Contested Borderlands: Armenia is a single-channel video filmed on the contested borderlands between Armenia and Azerbaijan to document the ongoing violence and human rights violations in this region, the Nagorno-Karabakh.