The Next Step - International Conference of Museums of Modern and Contemporary Art

9 - 10 May 2009
Organised by: Moderna galerija/Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana
Venue: Mestni muzej/City Museum, Ljubljana

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.

Some talks from the conference are awailable at
the publication of the talks is the result of cooperation between Josef Stefan Institute and Moderna galerija

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.

→  Program

→  Participants

Practical information:

Dates: Saturday, 9 May and Sunday, 10 May 2009
Location: Mestni muzej / City Museum, Gosposka 15, Ljubljana
Language: English
Concept of the conference: Zdenka Badovinac
Organised by: Moderna galerija/Museum of Modern Art
Contact person:
Supported by: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia

Sorry, the auditorium is booked out so we cannot accept any more applications. For additional information, please contact the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana,, or call us on 00386 1 2416800/808.

The conference is supported by:

The conference is part of an inter-institutional project under the common title The Next Step, in collaboration with The Architecture Museum of Ljubljana and Zavod ARK. The conference under the title Project Architecture will take place on Thursday, 7 May in the Culture and Congress Centre CD Club. More info:

Additional program:

Friday, 8 May, at 19:00
Mala galerija/Moderna galerija, Slovenska cesta 35, Ljubljana

Opening of the exhibition by Silvie Kolbowski
After Hiroshima Mon Amour

Developed over a three-year period (2005-2008), After Hiroshima Mon Amour is a 22-minute video that looks through the lens of the celebrated 1959 film Hiroshima Mon Amour (directed by Alain Resnais; written by Marguerite Duras) at sites of American incursion and neglect - Iraq and New Orleans. After Hiroshima Mon Amour uses various visual and aural strategies to layer and analyze past and present instances of violence and trauma. Titles, silence, colour, brief sync sound, and music are used to create a new story out of an old one. The allegorical couple of the 1959 film is played by ten interconnecting actors who blur the categories of ethnicity, race, and gender. Various scenes in black and white are faithfully recreated from the 1959 film; contemporary material downloaded from the internet and a remix of the score and sound design of the Resnais/Duras film are incorporated.

Next_Step_Moderna_galerija.pdf913.2 KB

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History of the MG
Opening of the renovated MG


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