Gyumri Workshop & Festival

On the invitation of Mkrtich Tonoyan, director of ACOSS (Armenian Artist in Residence Programme) the Dutch artist-designer Jan Doms designed the multi-element programme Mushtopia in Armenia.

The Mushtopia Laboratory for Design and Research, which took place in May 2019 with young professionals from Germany and Iran and with students from the art academy of Gyumri, was part of the program. Ideas for the future development of the Mush district, an unfinished area in the north of Gyumri that was intended to re-house residents who had lost their homes in the great earthquake of 1988.

In July, the Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan (ACCEA/NPAK) presented works of Jan Doms with contributions from
Juliane Schreiber (paper glider) in combination with the results of the Mushtopia Laboratory for Design and Research.
Finally, the Mushtopia Festival took place in September 2019.
The festival is the impetus for further activities in the Mush district.

Encounters in Mush
In order to create a link between the historic centre of Gyumri, the northern inhabited district of Ani and the abandoned Mush, within the framework of the Mushtopia Festival an exhibition was set up in the gallery space of the Puppet Theatre. Included in this exhibition was the work of Juliane Schreiber from Hamburg (Germany). These works consisted of a photographic series of encounters in Mush during her field study and a series of graphic works based on photograms of steel objects found in the area.

(Text by Jan Doms, published in: ‘Mushtopia Festival’, Tilburg: lef, 2019)