April 18, 2009 - Moderna galerija, Ljubljana - The Next Step Conference
April 18, 2009

The Next Step Conference

International Conference of Museums of Modern and Contemporary Art

9 – 10 May 2009

Organised by:
Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art

Tomšičeva 14
SI- 1000 Ljubljana
Tel: +386 (0) 1 241 68 00
Fax: + 386 (0) 1 251 41 20
info [​at​] mg-lj.si


The conference title refers to the state of affairs brought about by the rapid globalization and the growing doubts concerning the universality of the Western canon of art history. Is it even possible to think about a new universal type of museum? Certainly not in terms of similarly conceived collections and history; possibly in terms of comparable dynamics in producing diverse contexts and a multitude of narratives.

The international conference “The Next Step” focuses on the following questions:

- What course of action should museums adopt now that new spaces are opening up, spaces that were until recently marginalized and whose art has not yet been integrated into the existing canon of art?

- Currently, virtually all principal museums of modern and contemporary art in the region of former Yugoslavia are closed for renovation or (re) construction. Could this be the right moment for them to think about a new type of museum based on the production of knowledge on still-uncanonized histories?

- Under the pressures of neo-liberal capitalism, how can museums continue to pursue their common interests with regard to being more market-oriented and treating their audiences as consumers? How do museums go on in view of the global economic crisis and the undermined faith in the infallibility of the free market? Will museums fall prey to the looming financial restrictions or can they take a pre-emptive position and propose new methods of work and association and, after all, international solidarity?

- Last but not least, the title “The Next Step” refers to the current renovation of both Moderna galerija buildings (the principal museum building and the premises in the former army base in Metelkova Street). The renovation of the buildings is connected with the division of the museum’s work into two segments: a museum of modern art and a museum of contemporary art. At this point we find it especially momentous to define a museum for the 21st century, both in terms of looking separately at modern and contemporary art, and in terms of bringing the museum work up to date.


Welcome by Majda Širca, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
10:15 – 10:45
Opening speech by Zdenka Badovinac
10:45 – 11:45
Keynote speech by Rastko Močnik
Coffee break

Panel discussions:

12:00 – 13:00
Include or change?
Speakers: Jesús Carrillo, Alfred Pacquement, Sheena Wagstaff
Moderator: Adela Železnik
13:00 – 13:30
13:30 – 14:30

14:30 – 16:30
What is happening to the principal museum institutions in the region of former Yugoslavia?
Speakers: Zoran Ericć Suzana Milevska, Bojana Piškur, Amila Ramović
Moderator: Alenka Gregorič
Speakers: Breda Kolar Sluga, Tihomir Milovac, Miško Šuvaković
Moderator: Beti Žerovc
16:30 – 17:00

17:00 – 18:00
How far removed have museums become from their original significance?
Speakers: Sabine Breitwieser, Charles Esche, Nina Möntmann
Moderator: Igor Španjol
18:00 – 18:30

10:00 – 11:00
What legacy do museums in the countries of formerly repressive political regimes deal with and what future do they face?
Speakers: Lisette Lagnado, Joana Mytkowska, Barbara Steiner
Moderator: Petja Grafenauer
11:00 – 11:30

11:30 – 13:00
How can artists help make the histories presented by museums of modern and contemporary art more comprehensive?
Speakers: Irwin, Silvia Kolbowski, Tadej Pogačar, Apolonija Šušteršič, Gediminas Urbonas
Moderator: Barbara Borčić
13:00 – 13:30

Practical information:
: Saturday, 9 May and Sunday, 10 May 2009
Location: Mestni muzej/City Museum,Gosposka 15, Ljubljana
: English
Organised by: Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana

The conference is free of charge but reservations are essential:

Additional program:
Silvia Kolbowski: After Hiroshima Mon Amour
Opening of the exhibition, Friday, 8 May, at 7 p.m.
Mala galerija/Moderna galerija, Slovenska cesta 35, Ljubljana

Moderna galerija, Ljubljana
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