Proposal of the Management Board for the appointment of a new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art


Proposal of the Management Board for the appointment of a new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art


Following a tender for selection and appointment of a director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Management Board proposes to the founder, the City of Zagreb, the appointment of Zdenka Badovinac, an internationally renowned curator and former Director of the museum of modern art Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana.

Zdenka Badovinac is one of the most highly regarded curators in the modern and contemporary art world in this part of Europe. During her exceptionally prolific career, she authored several major international exhibitions and projects. Among her other achievements, she was Slovenian Commissioner at the Venice Biennale four times (in the 1993 – 2017 period), Austrian Commissioner at the São Paulo Biennial (2002) and President of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art – CIMAM (2010 – 2013). She has collaborated with numerous institutions worldwide, and was a member on international expert panels in a number of them, including: the Reina Sofía Museum (Madrid), MAXXI National Museum (Rome) and the renowned academic journal ARTMargins (MIT Press). As the long-serving Director of Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana, she has achieved results that have put the institution on the global map and helped to form a stronger relationship with the local audience. She has successfully lead the renovation of two museum buildings, Moderna Galerija on Tomšičeva Street and the Museum of Contemporary Art located in the former military barracks on Metelkova Street. In addition to her professional achievements, she has also demonstrated impressive knowledge and skills in managing complex institutions and projects, as well as strong organisational skills.

Zdenka Badovinac has proposed a highly professional, conceptually and methodologically clearly elaborated, conclusive, ambitious and realistic work programme for the next four-year period. The proposed programme recognises with the utmost respect the achievements made so far, as well as the significance, history and tradition of this institution, but also proposes necessary transformative changes aimed at improving the performance of the Museum and better connecting it with the local community, but also positioning it on the global stage. The programme is also heavily based on collaboration with local contemporary artists who are to provide active and vital strength for the Museum as part of her vision.

The concept of the work programme is strongly articulated and well elaborated, clearly presenting the main work strategies and methodologies she plans to apply, as well as the goals she aims to achieve. She has demonstrated a modern approach to professional museum topics, as well as to the way of managing this institution. 

The stand-out important elements and highlighted priorities include:

  • revaluation and improvement of display of the rich museum collections and heritage of the Museum of Contemporary Art;
  • strategic organisation of the exhibition programme, highlighting research work, monographic exhibitions of important Croatian artists, as well as international exhibitions dedicated to topical global issues;
  • further expansion of the Museum’s pedagogical programme and clear orientation towards the local community by developing long-term cooperation with various actors and groups, including: artists, experts, activists, independent cultural and civil organisations, as well as an active relationship with the Museum’s visitors;
  • reorganisation of the Museum to encourage the engagement of its professional staff and promotion of synergy between the different Museum departments;
  • better positioning the Museum on the global stage through programme partnerships with major European museums;
  • optimisation and more efficient use of the Museum’s existing resources.

By appointing Zdenka Badovinac as the new director, the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as the City of Zagreb, will gain a top expert who has proven herself a capable leader. We are certain that, with the unquestionable support of the Management Board, as well as the engagement of the Museum’s staff, she will achieve important results and carry the Museum into its next chapter of better interaction with its immediate community, at the same time positioning itself in an international context, which will significantly contribute to establishing Zagreb as a modern European city.

Management Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb