IMMA — Irish Museum of Modern Art

A major international symposium which investigates new perspectives on the role and function of public galleries and museums in the 21st-century will be held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, from 12 – 13 November 2008. Museum21 will bring together six leading international artists, curators and historians who together will present a vast range of perspectives on the role of galleries and museums informed by past and present contemporary art and practice. The theme of the symposium traces the historic function of the museum, in particular the impact of institutional critique in the 1960s and early 1970s and questions how best galleries and museums can maintain their relevance and legitimacy in the contemporary world.

Exploring the wider notion of the museum as institution, idea and practice, the following questions arise: ‘What is the point’ of a museum in the 21st-century? Should galleries and museums compete or create an alternative to the mega exhibitions of Biennales and Art Fairs? Are public galleries and museums still the main sites for cultural innovation and the reception of contemporary art?

Papers will be presented by the following six international speakers:
Okwui Enwezor is a curator and critic, he is currently Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, and Adjunct Curator, International Center of Photography, New York ▪ Charles Esche is a curator and writer and currently Director of Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands ▪ Andrea Fraser is an artist, based in New York, whose work has been identified with performance, video, context art and institutional critique ▪ Enrique Juncosa is Director, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin ▪ Susan Pearce is Professor of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK ▪ Carey Young is an artist, based in London, whose work employs a variety of media, including video, photography and performance.

Chair Person: Siún Hanrahan, writer and artist, and Head of Research and Postgraduate Development at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Discussion Moderator: Jens Hoffmann, Director, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco.

Booking is essential as places are limited and can be made on line at
In addition to the presentations the fee includes an opening reception (12 November), lunch and refreshments (13 November) and the symposium pack.

Jen Phelan, Administrator: Education and Community Programmes
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
Tel +353-1-6129919/3 Fax +353-1-612 9999
Email Website

Museum21 is curated by Sophie Byrne: Assistant Curator: Talks and Lectures, Education and Community Programmes, IMMA.