The Pharos Flower


This May, the world’s leading female Armenian contemporary artist Narine Arakelian, will both headline the Armenia Pavilion for the 58th Venice Biennale and launch a striking new exhibition, The Pharos Flower at the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, one of Venice’s most iconic landmarks. The Pharos Flower is part of the CITY OF VENICE’s official programme of events for the 58th Biennale, marking the second time that Narine has appeared at the Biennale and follows her critically acclaimed installation at Manifesta 12, 2018.

Curated by Pier Paolo Scelsi (ITA), The Pharos Flower exhibition and installation has see Narine transform the iconic 15th century spiral staircase of the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo into a striking multi-coloured lighthouse. The Pharos Lighthouse projects colourful rays of light from the top floor of the Scala, creating a spectacular light installation that will be visible across the city’s iconic skyline. The installation aims to play on our idea of perception and time with the Lighthouse becoming a singular moment linking the past, present and future.

The exhibition will continue inside the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo where Narine will present a series of her distinctive coloured fabrics and multicoloured glass pieces, crafted at the famous Studio Abate Zanetti on the island of Murano in Venice. During the opening of the exhibition Narine has given a performance of “The Bloom”, a performance work that will see her transform into a symbol of an ancient marble statue. During the performance Narine has passed through the exhibition rooms discarding elements of her costume until there is nothing left.

Narine Arakelian has also been selected to launch the official opening of the Armenian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. On 9th May, Narine has given a one-time-only performance of her performance work titled “Revolutionary Sensorium”, curated by Susanna Gyulamiryan. The piece is an exploration of the revolutionary events of the ‘Velvet Revolution’ that took place in Armenia in Spring 2018 uniting civilians through their slogan of ‘solidarity and love’. The performance has took place at 5pm on 9th May at the Armenian Pavilion 2019 which is situated at the Collegio Armeno Moorat.

Internationally recognised as a multi-sensual contemporary artist, at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, Narine was invited to exhibit her large-scale installation, “L’Illusion du Marriage” inside Venice’s historic building the Scuola Grande di San Rocco home of the Tintoretto masterpieces. The piece combined installation with contemporary performances across the city, with a finale at the magnificent Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.


Narine Arakelian is an internationally recognised Armenian artist. Most recently she exhibited at the Manifesta 12 (2018), the Museum of Moscow (2018), and in 2017 Narine brought to the 57th Venice Biennale her large-scale creation, «L’Illusion du Marriage» which was exhibited as part of the Armenian Pavilion’s official programme. She also regularly presents independent exhibitions and performances in Moscow, New York and Venice. Narine Arakelian is a full member of the Russian Union of Artists.

Born in Siberia and graduated from the Painting Department at the celebrated State Surikov Institute, Moscow in 2015 where studied under the mastership of Aidan Salakhova, Sergey Ossovsky, Yuri Shishkov. After graduating Surikov’s Institute Narine received an internship at the Digital Arts Department in Los Angeles Academy of Fine Arts in 2015/2016.