How we work together: a roundtable discussion of partner cells

How we work together: a roundtable discussion of partner cells

What Could/Should Curating Do? and Moderna galerija
How we work together: a roundtable discussion of partner cells
Zdenka Badovinac, Larys Frogier, Nikita Yingqian Cai, Aigerim Kapar, Sinkneh Eshetu, Robel Temesgen, Dragan Stojmenovic, and Biljana Ciric
March 31, 2021

Join us on e-flux Vido & Film on March 31, 2021 at 11am CET for How we work together: a roundtable discussion of partner cells—the closing discussion of the current symposium As you go…roads under your feet, towards the future, organized by What Could/Should Curating Do? and Moderna galerija.

Participants of the panel will be:

Zdenka Badovinac, curator of Moderna galerija (Ljubljana), 
Larys Frogier, Director of the Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai),
Nikita Yingqian Cai, Chief Curator of Times Museum (Guang Zhou), 
Aigerim Kapar, founder of Artcom Platform (Astana), 
Sinkneh Eshetu (landscape architect and writer Addis Ababa), 
Robel Temesgen (artist, Addis Ababa), 
Dragan Stojmenovic (Public Library Bor), and 
Biljana Ciric, founder of WCSCD and initiator of the inquiry. 

As you go… roads under your feet, towards the new future is a long-term project and research inquiry that reflects on the Belt and Road Initiative and how it will alter the aesthetics and practices of everyday life in the different local contexts of Ethiopia, Serbia, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, China, and Kazakhstan. 

Our collaboration opened a number of questions which proved difficult to answer: How might we practice horizontality within the project among the research partners as cells? How might we move beyond the economic limitations imposed within the project? Who are the financial contributors, and how is labour valued? These very practical inquiries lead to issues but also points of direction that have helped us navigate ways of working together across different localities, especially when there may not be the proper infrastructure in place to support such activity or even contemporary art in general. Is it possible to speak about solidarity across these different contexts? If so, upon what terms does this discourse occur, and how might we begin to approach this equitably? Is it possible to slow down (artistic) production processes, affording artists and researchers the time and space to develop projects that will have a genuine and lasting impacts on a locality? How may we imagine and develop different working rituals with each other through this process? 

Thinking about the intimacy of cells becomes even more pertinent being within the conditions of a pandemic (in times when we believe we must abide by social distancing and separation), to interrogate how we perform the process of transformation toward a possible co-immunity. Some of the tools we use as we work towards co-immunity include horizontalityinterdependence, the right to opacity, and allowing for the right to visibility as an active choice. These will be some of the aspects that we will be reflecting on during our discussion.  

This six-day symposium also forms the first public moment of As you go…roads under your feet towards the new future, which can be viewed here.

Read more about the symposium here

The roundtable will be streamed on e-flux and on the Facebook pages of partner cells of the project. The audience will be able to engage through Q&A via chat. No registration required.

“As you go… roads under your feet, towards the new future” is initiated and conceived by Biljana Ciric. The inquiry and research cells include What Could Should Curating Do (Belgrade), Moderna galerija (Ljubljana), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), Guangdong Times Museum (Guangzhou), ArtCom Platform (Astana), Robel Temesgen and Sinkneh Eshetu (Addis Ababa), and The Public Library (Bor).

The first stage of the project has been supported by the Foundation for Arts Initiatives, CURTAIN (Rockbund Art Museum), Austrian Cultural Forum, Curatorial Practice (Monash University Art, Design and Architecture), and the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.


Zdenka Badovinac is a curator and writer. From 1993 to 2020, she was the Director of the Moderna galerija in Ljubljana (MG+MSUM). From 2022 to 2023 she was Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb (MSU). She currently works as an independent curator and author. Her most recent exhibition is Sanja Iveković, Works of Heart (1974-2022), Kunsthalle, Vienna, (2022) and MSU in Zagreb (2023). Her most recent books are Comradeship: Curating, Art, and Politics in Post-Socialist Europe (Independent Curators International, 2019) and Unannounced Voices: Curatorial Practice and Changing Institutions (Sternberg Press / Thoughts on Curating, 2022).

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