Andrius Arutiunian

Andrius Arutiunian (1991, Vilnius) is an artist and composer who works through objects, installations, and collaborations with musicians and performers. Sonic vernaculars, non-western traditions of music-making, and peripheral knowledge are often the focus of his work. Arutiunian often works with esoteric aural forms, alternate tuning systems, and speculative musical scoring systems. Recent shows and performances include the CTM festival Berlin, FACT Liverpool, the Rewire Festival, Documenta 14, the Parliament of Bodies Kassel, and the Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius. In 2022, Arutiunian is representing Armenia at the 59th Venice Biennale with a solo exhibition, Gharīb.

Arizona Club
Installation, 2022

Forty children at the Arizona Club Arba Lijoch. Orphans (from the destroyed Armenian villages of Vaspurakan, Karin, Zeytun, and Sis), a marching band, a slow arrival through Palestine to Addis Ababa in 1924. A royal invitation to become the Imperial Marching Band of Ras Tafari, Emperor Haile Selassie — an “angelic choir”, as he says. The national anthem of Ethiopia was composed by a refugee. Then later, there are boys growing older, the first music schools, other marching bands, military bands, police bands, court bands. After hours, a nightlife scene emerges, clubs, jazz records, breathing heavily, breathing alive. Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete, and Tilahun Gessesse frequent venues, study brass, and start playing songs — diatonic, hypnotic, and heat infused. A genre appears; others call it Ethio-jazz, from refugees to marching bands to the slow warm sound of metal trembling with air.