The DEPOSITORY Bookstore

THE DEPOSITORY BOOKSTORE is an alternative to typical museum shops that are becoming increasingly commercial and reminiscent of custom jewelry and souvenir shops. The Depository fits in with the concept of MSUM and its evolution as the new museum unit of Moderna galerija in Ljubljana. Bringing together the past and present, the bookstore is a depository of Moderna galerija?s publications that represent the symbolic foundations of the new museum of contemporary art. Since its founding Moderna galerija has brought out over 900 publications, for the most part exhibition catalogues, artist monographs and survey publications that are an important physical indicator of the institution?s past. The Depository bookstore is on the ground floor of MSUM, in the part called Connections.
Working together with students of architecture (Sara Badovinac, Jana Furman, Iztok Hvala, Larisa Kazić, Nina Rojc, Nina Vidić Ivančič), Apolonija Šušteršič has developed the idea of a storage room full of books that opens to the public. As a rule, storerooms in museums are inaccessible to museum visitors and are quite static, while the Depository is just the opposite: as the book storeroom opens, at least symbolically, the act of storing publications acquires another function. There is no furniture in the Depository, since all the functional elements are composed of publications. Books are the building blocks of every type of knowledge. The publications-building blocks are stacked together in a way that marks the various periods in the history of MG, also visually underscoring the foundations of new knowledge shaping both today and the new museum. The Depository bookstore is not there to replace the museum?s storage facility for books, but rather to comment on it, broaching the questions of the significance of these publications, the responsibility toward their keeping, and their public accessibility.
In a collaborative project with artists Tjaša Pogačar and Andrej Škufca, the bookstore has become a space dedicated to the topical question of the relation between a document and a work of art, focusing particularly on the significance of documents in the construction of historical memory and the way it relates to artworks and viewers. In addition to publications issued by MG+MSUM, the bookstore provides a selection of artists? catalogues, artist books, various self-published titles, and artists? portfolios with photographs and videos.
This concept constructively broaches the question of who is entitled to present an artist. The Depository is a place where artists are able to self-organize within the institution.
The Depository bookstore is further conceived as a place of alternative economy, where a more just relationship between the institution and the artists? symbolic capital evolves.
The selection of publications changes and grows in accordance with the exhibition program. When visitors come to the bookstore, a certain selection of publications is physically available, but they can also choose from among publications not displayed at a given moment.

Apolonija Šušteršič?s project was realized with the support of the Mondriaan Foundation Amsterdam.

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Museum of Modern Art

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History of the MG
Opening of the renovated MG


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