Last week, between 17 and 19 September, a meeting of L’Internationale, a confederation of seven museums – MACBA (Barcelona), Moderna Galerija (Ljubljana), Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw), Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (Antwerp), SALT (Istanbul and Ankara), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), and the Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid) – was held in Madrid.
L’Internationale was founded nine years ago on the initiative of Moderna galerija, Ljubljana. It is based on collaboration between the member museums and other European institutions of modern and contemporary art working together as part of a network, with the contact between art and society one of its foremost principles.
As part of the Creative Europe Culture Programme, the European Commission will provide 2 million euros to fund the cultural project Our Many Europes, to be implemented and developed over the next four years by L’Internationale and headed, on this occasion, by the Museo Reina Sofía. The aim of the project is to broaden the types of visitors who walk through the doors of these art centers, enhancing visitor-museum engagement through innovative strategies adapted to the present day.
The Our Many Europes project and its wide-ranging schedule of lectures, exhibitions and education initiatives seek to advocate a more active role for visitors, studying more innovative forms of participation and considering the input of new technology.
The content of each activity will focus on the 1990s, the dawn of contemporary Europe and a decade which saw a pivotal change take place, from an art perspective, in a society that opened up to the Internet and broadened horizons.
To date, L’Internationale has successfully implemented its program of cultural projects with European Union’s funding twice: Entitled 1957–1986. Art from the Decline of Modernism to the Rise of Globalization, the first program was headed by Moderna galerija. Next came The Uses of Art project, which brought new readings of European art history to a broader public, generating around 1,900 activities – exhibitions, lectures, seminars – and attracting over 1,600,000 visitors over the past four years.
Moderna galerija in Ljubljana has successfully carried out numerous projects as part of L’Internationale: in 2011, it inaugurated the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova with the Museum of Affects exhibition; its international Arteast 2000+ collection was shown in Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and in MACBA in Barcelona; one of its most acclaimed projects, the NSK from Kapital to Capital exhibition, last travelled to the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid; and this year, it organized its first Summer School, also as part of L’Internationale.
The first meeting between L´Internationale members and their partners in the Our Many Europes project took place at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid and was attended by the directors from each of L’Internationale’s member museums: Zdenka Badovinac (Moderna galerija); Bart de Baere, (Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerp); Ferran Barenblit, (MACBA); Charles Esche, (Van Abbemuseum); Joanna Mytkowska (MSN Warsaw); Meriç Oner (SALT); and Manuel Borja-Villel, (Museo Reina Sofía).