• Summer School as School 2018
Course 11: Thinking Contemporary, by Zdenka Badovinac

Course 11: Thinking Contemporary 
Course by Zdenka Badovinac

July 30 – August 2, 2018

Course description

In “Thinking Contemporary” Zdenka Badovinac will first explain a theoretical framework for her curatorial work via different examples of exhibitions she has curated.. A crucial question will be how and why we need to articulate our own positions and languages; participants will be asked to present their existing or their future projects following the ideas from their own vocabularies.

Badovinac’s curatorial work is strongly connected to the concrete social and political circumstances of her work, especially at Moderna galerija in Ljubljana.

Most of the exhibition examples took place at Moderna galerija, some of them related to its Arteast 2000 + collection and Eastern European avant-gardes, others to urgencies of  contemporary art and its social and political context. One example related to Eastern European art was “Interrupted Histories” (2006), in which a special understanding of history was developed and a concept of historical continuity was replaced by endless process of interruptions.

In addition to the idea of interruption, repetition forms a strong theoretical basis in her work, developed in exhibitions such as “Presence and Present- Repetitions”, in which Badovinac defined different “re-s” as one of the fundamental features of contemporary art. Both concepts feature in the recent exhibition “NSK from Kapital to Capital: Neue Slowenische Kunst – The Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia”, Moderna galerija, 2015.


Zdenka Badovinac has been Director of Moderna galerija/ Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana since 1993. She has curated numerous exhibitions presenting both Slovenian and international artists, and she initiated the first collection of Eastern European art, Moderna galerija’s 2000+ Arteast Collection.

She has been systematically dealing with the processes of redefining history and with the questions of different avant-garde traditions of contemporary art, starting with the exhibition “Body and the East— From the 1960s to the Present” (Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, 1998; Exit Art, New York, 2001). She continued in 2000 with the first public display of the 2000+ Arteast Collection: “2000+ Arteast Collection: The Art of Eastern Europe in Dialogue with the West at Moderna galerija” (2000); and then with a series of Arteast Exhibitions, mostly at Moderna galerija: “Form-Specific” (2003); “7 Sins: Ljubljana-Moscow” (2004; co-curated with Victor Misiano and Igor Zabel); “Interrupted Histories” (2006); “Arteast Collection 2000+23” (2006); “The Schengen Women” (2008), Galerija Škuc, Ljubljana, part of the Hosting Moderna galerija! project; and “Old Masters” (2008), Zavod P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E., Center in galerijaP74, Ljubljana, also part of the Hosting Moderna galerija! project.

Badovinac’s other major projects include unlimited.nl-3, DeAppel, Amsterdam (2000); (un)gemalt, Sammlung Essl, Kunst der Gegenwart, Klosterneuburg/Vienna (2002); ev+a 2004, Imagine Limerick, Open&Invited, different exhibition venues, Limerick (2004); and Democracies for the Tirana Biennale (2005). She was also Slovenian Commissioner at the Venice Biennale (1993–1997, 2005) and Austrian Commissioner at the Sao Paulo Biennial (2002).