INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE | What Art History? | In memoriam Piotr Piotrowski
08 December 2016 | 10:00


International conference

What Art History?

In memoriam Piotr Piotrowski


Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana


Thursday, 8 December, 2016, 10 a.m.— 6 p.m.


Participants: Edit András, Manuel Borja- Villel, Catherine David, Ekaterina Degot, Okwui Enwezor, Charles Esche, Beáta Hock, Timea Junghaus, Magdalena Radomska, Peter Weibel, WHW


The international conference is organized by the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, in collaboration with the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory and ERSTE Foundation. It is taking place at the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, on Thursday, 8 December 2016, 10 a.m.6 p.m. and on Friday, 9 December 2016, 10—11.30 a.m., preceding the Igor Zabel Award 2016 ceremony.


The conference is organized in honor of Piotr Piotrowski and his in-depth art historical research on (modern) art from Eastern Europe, which he explored and promoted throughout his work as an art historian, professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, and also director of the National Museum in Warsaw. Piotrowski was also a collaborator of Moderna galerija as one of the advisors for the Arteast 2000+ collection, established by the Moderna galerija in 2000. For his scholarly achievements he received the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory in 2010.


The conference is related to two of Piotrowski’s concepts – horizontal and comparative (global) art history and the critical museum. It will be introduced and concluded with two key-note speeches, presented by two important figures in the contemporary art world, Okwui Enwezor, curator of Documenta 11 and present director of Haus der Kunst, Munich and Manuel Borja-Villel, director of Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid.


In searching for what kind of art museum and art history are needed under the challenging contemporary conditions, renowned international curators and art historians will discuss in two panel talks on the first conference day. Participants of the panels are: Edit András,Catherine David, Ekaterina Degot, Charles Esche, Beáta HockTimea Junghaus, Peter Weibel and WHW.


According to Piotrowski, horizontal art history begins as the deconstruction of vertical art history, that is, the Western-centric and the “universal“. In contrast, horizontal and comparative (global) art history is polyphonic; it supports locally specific art histories and puts them in a global perspective through comparing the specific structures and meanings of art.


Piotrowski's idea of a critical museum will serve as a starting point to re-think current problems related to museums, and re-consider the topical debates about global histories. 


The conference is organized by Moderna galerija, Ljubljana in collaboration with the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory and ERSTE Foundation.



The Igor Zabel Award 2016


Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art, Cankarjeva 15, Ljubljana


Friday, 9 December, 2016, 5 p.m.

A presentation of the laureate and recipients of grants for 2016


Friday, 9 December, 2016, 8 p.m.

Gala ceremony for the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory 2016


The Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory acknowledges the achievements of cultural protagonists whose work is dedicated to deepening and broadening internationally the knowledge of visual art and culture in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. Candidates for the award are international curators, art historians and theorists, writers or critics who come from or are living and/or working in the region and whose work spans Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, respectively.


This year, the jury of the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory consists of Zdenka Badovinac, director of the Moderna galerija in Ljubljana (chair), Vít Havránek, director of in Prague, and the artist Roman Ondák from Bratislava.


The award is organized by ERSTE Foundation and the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory. The fifth edition of the award and its accompanaying programme is organized in collaboration with Moderna galerija.







Thursday, 8 December, 2016, 10 a.m. — 6 p.m.

10.00 – 10.05 welcome by Zdenka Badovinac (MG+MSUM), Urška Jurman (Igor Zabel Association), and Christiane Erharter (ERSTE Foundation)

10.05 – 10.20 introduction to the conference by Zdenka Badovinac, director, Moderna galerija

10.20 – 10.30 In Memory of Piotr Piotrowski by Magdalena Radomska, assistant professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

10.30 – 11.10 keynote speech by Okwui Enwezor, director Haus der Kunst Munich, curator of Documenta 11

11.10 – 11.20 Q & A

11.20 – 11.40 coffee break


Comparative, horizontal and global art history

11.40 – 12.00 presentation by Edit András, art historian, curator, critic, Budapest and Long Island, NY

12.00 – 12.20 presentation by Tímea Junghaus, art historian, Budapest

12.20 – 12.40 presentation by Peter Weibel, director, ZKM Karlsruhe

12.40 – 13.40 discussion moderated by Beáta Hock, research associate at the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe

13.40 – 15.00 lunch break


The critical museum

15.00 – 15.20 presentation by Catherine David, deputy director, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris

15.20 – 15.40 presentation by Ekaterina Degot, art historian, curator, author; director of the Academy of the World, Cologne.

15.40 – 16.00 coffee break

16.00 – 16.20 presentation by Charles Esche, director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

16.20 – 17.20 discussion moderated by WHW, curatorial collective, Zagreb

17.20 – 18.00 wrap up

18.00 – 19.00 guided tour through the exhibitions 20th Century.Continuities and Ruptures and New Spaces, New Images


Friday, 9 December, 2016, 10.00 - 11.30

10.00 – 10.40 keynote speech by Manuel Borja-Villel, director, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid

10.40 – 10.50 Q & A

10.50 – 11.30 conclusion








Thursday, 8 December 2016, 10.00 — 11:20


Thursday, 8 December 2016, 11.40 — 12:00


Thursday, 8 December 2016, 12.00 — 14:00


Thursday, 8 December 2016, 15.20 — 17:20


Friday, 9 December 2016, 10.00 — 11.30

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