(1) Igor Andjelić
(2) Marija Kanizaj
(3) Rafał Milach
(4) Evangelia Kranioti
Public Institutions of Arts Responding to Emergencies
Panel discussion with Zdenka Badovinac (director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb), Sebastian Cichocki (Chief Curator and Head of Research at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw), Ekaterina Degot (artistic director and chief curator of steirischer herbst, Graz). Moderated by Marina Fokidis (curator and writer).
As Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine continues into its fifth month, public cultural institutions all around Europe are taking the necessary steps to confront the current atrocities, both through bare actions and through the formation of new languages to address the unspoken. Either by adapting the content of their programme to raise awareness, and /or by broadening their mission to encompass ways of solidarity towards the victims, museums, festivals, art organizations, among other public art agencies, demonstrate their active engagement with the societies they are serving. Zdenka Badinovac, Ekaterina Degot and Sebastian Cichocki will discuss their distinct approaches to the war in Ukraine, or to previous wars and political turmoil, through the agency of the "arts".
Zdenka Badovinac is the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, She is known internationally as a long-time director of the Moderna galerija (Museum of Modern Art) and MSUM (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Ljubljana; and for her outstanding curatorial work and important theoretical contributions as a writer in the international discourses on the geopolitics of contemporary art in Eastern Europe and global art history. When she was awarded the Igor Zabel award in 2020, Zdenka Badovinac was recognized as one of the most important and rigorous locally rooted and globally connected professionals in the field of cultural production of the past decades.Badovinac initiated the first Eastern European art collection, Arteast 2000+. Her most recent exhibition is Bigger Than Myself: Heroic Voices from Ex-Yugoslavia, MAXXI, Rome. Her most recent books are Comradeship: Curating, Art, and Politics in Post-Socialist Europe (Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, 2019 and Unannounced Voices: Curatorial Practice and Changing Institutions (Sternberg Press , New York, 2022She is a founding member of L'Internationale, a confederation of seven modern and contemporary European art institutions, and President of CIMAM, International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art, 2010–13.
Sebastian Cichocki is the Chief Curator and Head of Research at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, where he has worked on the curation of the exhibitions Who Will Write the History of Tears. Artists on Women’s Rights (2021), Primary Forms (2021 –ongoing), The Penumbral Age. Art in the Times of Planetary Crisis (2020), and Never Again. Art against War and Fascism in the 20th and 21st centuries (2019), among others. Other selected exhibitions include: The Postartistic Congress (Sokołowsko, 2021), the Polish Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale and the 54th Venice Biennale, and Rainbow in the Dark. On the Joy and Torment of Faith, Malmö Konstmuseum (2015). Cichocki is a member of the board of programming at The Forum for the Future of Culture at the Powszechny Theatre (Warsaw), The Sunflower – Solidarity Community Center Warsaw, an aid, culture and counter-propaganda initiative in Warsaw for those who suffered from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and one of the founding members of artist-activist initiatives The Consortium for Postartistic Practices/ The Office for Postartistic Services. He is a 2018 fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership, MoMA, New York, and he has just been appointed as Curator for the 40th EVA International Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art in Limerick (2023).
Ekaterina Degot is an art historian, researcher and curator, born in Moscow and based in Graz, leading steirischer herbst as artistic director and chief curator since 2018. Prior to that, Ekaterina Degot was artistic director of the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne from 2014 to 2017. She received the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory in November 2014. The focus of her work is on aesthetic and socio-political issues in Russia and Eastern Europe from the 19th century to the post-Soviet era. Before leaving Russia in 2014, she was one of the curators at the State Tretyakov Gallery, art columnist for the newspaper Kommersant, and from 2008 until 2012 she was senior editor of www.openspace.ru/art, an independent online magazine of art news, art criticism and cultural analysis. She has also contributed to Artforum, frieze, and e-flux magazines. Other tasks have included curating the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennial in 2001, co-curating the First Ural Industrial Biennial in Yekaterinburg together with Cosmin Costinas and David Riff in 2010, and co-directing the first Bergen Assembly in 2013 with David Riff.
Marina Fokidis is a curator, writer, lecturer and institution-maker based in Athens, Greece. Her methodology of challenging the prevalent monetary economy with a love economy harnesses the power of trans-cultural friendships while emphasizing site-sensitivity and sharing. In 2010, amidst the Greek economic crisis, she founded the independent space Kunsthalle Athena to reflect on the "social role of art institutions in the 21st century", beyond mounting exhibitions and towards co-producing culture; while in 2012, she founded South as a State of Mind magazine, a biannual arts and culture journal that creates unexpected dialogues between distinct neighbourhoods, cities, regions and approaches. In 2014, she was invited to become part of the core team for documenta 14 by artistic director Adam Szymczyk. Since 2021 she has been curator of the public programme for Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, and in 2020 she was curator for Vanderbilt University’s EADJ (Engine of Art Democracy and Justice) year-long programme Living in Common in the Precarious Souths, for which she received a curatorial award of excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators (US). In 2001, she was one of the curators of the 1st Tirana Biennial while in 2003 she was both the commissionaire and the curator for the Greek Pavilion in the 50th Biennale di Venezia, and in 2011, she co-curated the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennial, (A Rock and a Hard Place) together with Paolo Colombo and Mahita El Bacha Urieta. Between 2013 and 2014 she was curator of exhibitions and public programmes, and also initiated the curators' residency for Schwarz Foundation – Art Space Pythagorion in Samos, Greece. As an independent curator she has curated multiple exhibitions internationally, including Her/Histories, (Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens), The Gesture, (MOMUs, Thessaloniki, Quarter Florence) Anathena (Deste Foundation, Athens) WIR/We, curated by 2020 (Christine König Gallery, Vienna) Epistemologies of the Sun, (Rebecca Camhi Gallery, Athens), among many others. She is currently appointed as curator of the main thematic section in Arco 2023, Madrid, where she will focus on the Mediterranean region.
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