OSA | Visions after the Fall: Program

Visions after the Fall: Museums, Archives and Cinema in Reshaping Popular Perceptions of the Socialist Past

Marko Stamenkovic: Does Post-Socialism Need Museums Anymore?

The title of my paper is a paraphrase related to the famous essay by Slovenian theorist Marina Grzinic: "Does Contemporary Art Need Museums Anymore?" [CIMAM - The International Committee of ICOM - The International Council of Museums of Modern Art Conference. Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 2000] which is my point of departure in this case. In order to conceptualize this intriguing issue, she focuses her attention (and the object of her critique) not on the institution of museum as such, but rather on the very institution of art as represented and embodied by the public museum, and further, as an institution of hierarchic relations, of stratified power and dynamics, i.e. the institution of (political and financial) power corresponding to the new situation of a contemporary globalized world.
Another point of reference is the question around the major factors influencing the model of cultural funding in South Eastern Europe, and particularly the way contemporary art is treated within this model. New economic system is thus understood as an organizational system based upon decision-making processes leading toward the production of commodities, their distribution, and exchange. However, in the context of the socialist past and its current revision, what we are dealing with is not a single economic system, but actually a conflict situation emerging from a fundamental difference between the two economic systems, or economic philosophies: capitalist, on the one hand, and socialist, on the other. These two systems, or philosophies, determine the critical line I intend to exploit in order to analyze and situate socialist Eastern European art (and respective institutions and media archives related to it) with regard to the logic of the art-market and the expansion of global capitalism in the contemporary world.
The paper should therefore be approached, read, and understood within two precise theoretical and political coordinates, one of them being recognized within a contemporary pattern pertaining to global capitalism, the other pertaining to the post-socialist (Eastern European) transition. The case-study to be analyzed is closely connected to the idea of introducing media-based interpretations of traumatic historical events into existing gallery-systems and how, by proposing radically different curatorial concepts, this possibility can challenge obsolete institutional structures to strengthen their organizational and working processes in the post-ideological civil societies.

Marko Stamenkovic holds an undergraduate degree in Art History from the University of Belgrade and a Master's degree in Cultural Policy and Management (UNESCO Chair), University of Arts Belgrade & Université Lumiere Lyon2, Lyon (France). As an organizer, curator, or assistant Marko has been involved with a number of museum projects and exhibitions, including most recently, DIS-ECONOMY OF LIFE (Skopje, Macedonia, 2006), BEOGRAD NEKAD I SAD, (Galerija "Beograd", Belgrade, 2005) , UFO: Unn Fahlstrom, Norway ( SKC Gallery, Belgrade, 2005), etc. As a free-lancer for several Serbian and international magazines and journals, Marko Stamenkovic has written extensively on contemporary art and cultural issues.

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Date: June 9, Friday

Time: 1-1.30 pm



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