The Event as a Privileged Medium in the Contemporary Art World

4. 11.–5. 11. 2011

Moderna galerija, Ljubljana

The Event as a Privileged Medium in the Contemporary Art World; Bojana Kunst, Renata Salecl, 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, 2011, symposium at Moderna galerija.

Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

The international symposium conceived by Beti Žerovc attempted to address the direction of the event focus in the art field and in art institutions, and to ask as comprehensively as possible what significance such a general tendency towards change has for the nature of art institutions, which just a few decades earlier had calmly and quietly exhibited “static” art production on walls and pedestals. In this sense, the art field seems to be a completely unreflective entity, although its event production has reached extraordinary dimensions due to the large and ever-growing number of art institutions. In this context, it should also be explicitly emphasised that in recent decades art institutions have not only preserved and exhibited contemporary art but have also commissioned and produced it (in addition to all the other events). Since art institutions have thus become patrons of contemporary art, similar in nature and dimension to what the nobility and the church once were, it seems all the more necessary to consider exactly what such processes mean. We asked ourselves such questions as: What kinds of speech and iconography are thus created, and why? What kinds of communities are thus formed, and why? How are all these things integrated into the general operation of society, and how do they behave as a contemporary ideological apparatus?

A varied cast of anthropologists, philosophers, historians and art historians took part: Luisa Accati, Beatrice von Bismarck, Thomas Fillitz, Dario Gamboni, Werner Hanak-Lettner, Nathalie Heinich, Bojana Kunst, Henrietta L. Moore, Robert Pfaller, Renata Salecl and Roger Sansi-Roca. Articles from the symposium were published in a thematic issue of the performing arts newspaper Maska.