Jean Boghossian has been living in Brussels since leaving his native Lebanon in 1975 during the civil war there.
However, it is in Venice that he pays homage to his Armenian roots with a number of his works being exhibited at the Italian national pavilion during the Biennale, at the Armenian College Moorat-Raphael, at Palazzo Zenobio and at the Church of Santa Croce degli Armeni, on Calle Dei Armeni.
Jean Boghossian says: “My work is one of spirituality, communication and the transcendence of Armenian cultural heritage through books and abstract calligraphy”. Using fire and smoke as primary materials, the result is what he describes as “poetry and construction through deconstruction”. While using a blower instead of a brush might seem like a violent way to evoke this, the artist however insists on the fact that, as it seems to him, the message he is communicating is quite the opposite. He seems to himself to be “delivering work with a poetic and harmonious message and to be using fire as a way to preserve”.
While these notions of conservation and transmission are particularly pertinent to the Armenian context of the exhibition, as a means of marking and remembering a traumatic past, Boghossian is also careful to point out how his work specifically relates to the Venetian milieu. “Exhibiting in Venice, a place that aims to preserve manuscripts, to preserve knowledge, language and history, is a great way for me as an artist to show my work,” he says.