The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb

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Performing the Museum: about resources

Wednesday, 18. 11. 2015. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Collections, archives and libraries form basic museum resources. But behind collections, there are strategies, purchases, and certain planned decisions, traces of which can be found in institutional archives, while libraries provide evidence of the conditions in which knowledge is produced and transmitted within museum activities. On the other hand, the institutional history, intergenerational transfer of knowledge, methodology and social capital, which connect individual art institutions with the local or international scene, are among the most significant, through often less visible resources possessed by institutions in the world of culture.

The international project Izvedba muzeja/Performing the Museum offers artists, researchers and the public not only museum collections and archives, but the written, unwritten and potential history which runs like a thread through a programme of events bringing invited artists, theoreticians, researchers and the public into the museum fabric. Lecture series, artistic presentations and discussions to be held in the Baunet Cafe and permanent exhibition space of the Museum of Contemporary Art are designed to point to possible interpretations and new readings of both the material and the non-material, intangible resources within and without institutional culture and art.

In the first part of the seminar, Dunja Kučinac and Matija Mrakovčić will give a lecture about the Centre for Documenting Independent Culture, Tihana Puc will talk about creating portfolios, and about exhibitions, artists, institutions and what connects them, while representatives of partner institutions and their associates involved in the Performing the Museum project - Andreja Hribernik of the Carinthian Gallery of Fine Arts, Sanja Kojić Mladenov and Gordana Nikolić of the Vojvodina Museum of Contemporary Art, Oriol Fontevilla of the Antoni Tàpies Foundation and Jasna Jakšić of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, in cooperation with designer Rafaela Dražić – will present their institutions, resources and productions. Ana Kutleša will present research on private archives in the IT and Documentation Department of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and on the position of museum in archives at a time when there are increasing demands for commercialised, commodified public goods, such as museums and museum activities.

Through a restaging of his performance, Dalibor Martinis will address the history and collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb within the context of the Performing the Museum project. He will talk to curator Leila Topić about the performance, entitled A Guard at the Exhibition, which was first performed in 1976 as part of the Confrontations exhibition held at the Gallery of Contemporary Art. Dimitrije Bašićević Mangelos, the exhibition curator, staged reproductions of works of art and writings about art, alongside works from the contemporary art collection and the Benko Horvat collection, while Dalibor Martinis performed the act of preserving art. Today, almost forty years later, some of the works from that exhibition are in the Museum’s permanent collection, while photographs of the performance by Dalibor Martinis and Zeljko Jerman, along with a catalogue and copy of the invitation, comprise the only documentation currently available regarding that exhibition.

The Fokus group (Iva Kovač and Elvis Krstulović) will contribute to the permanent collection and present to public leaders a work called Priče o okvirima/Stories of Frames, which addresses institutional productions on the context, perception and valorisation of works of art. A basic digital database is under production, which the Fokus group are developing as part of the project, collecting and organising data on institutions of modern and contemporary art at the international level. Written contributions to the museum set-up provide information about various events in connection with the establishment, development and leadership of institutions of global modern and contemporary art, which tend not to be acknowledged in the historical artistic narrative. Text cards index the development of the artistic infrastructure context, parallel to the development of artistic production, which is presented in the museum set-up.

The Danish artist Soren Thilo Funder will talk about the work he produced during a period of residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art in April 2015. A film will be shown on the media wall in the permanent collection, showing a renowned painting, Pafama, by Josip Seissel, while a science fiction story by the American writer Philip K. Dick, Nicholas Brady, is read aloud. The Cold War apocalyptic vision of Dick's story, in which abstract art plays a major role, actually plays out in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb.


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