Open Museum 2013/2014
“Exercises in Timeliness” is a project of meetings devoted to some troublesome issues of contemporariness and modernity, and the question of extent to which these two terms describe time and attitudes.
Within the framework of six meetings (presentations/discussions) with critics, curators and artists, we will try to find answers to some open questions: how to grasp the meaning of new phenomena?, what terms should we use to describe them?, how to describe the present moment – is it part of any process or logic? – and if so, which one?. “Exercises in timeliness” will also pose a question of how to define contemporary art as compared to modern art. Where does the first, and where does the latter begin? What attitudes do both of them combine? Can works created nowadays be non-contemporary? How to write a history of contemporary art? How should we treat museums devoted to contemporary art and is the “timeliness” described by them still relevant?
The agenda includes: Professor Terry Smith, author of best-selling books, such as “What is contemporary art?” – on the challenges of the present and being contemporary, on the contemporary artistic practice, on the new tasks given to museums, and on the “contemporary curating”; Jan Verwoert, art critic – on the issue of locality in contemporary art; and Chus Martinez, co-curator of last year’s Documenta (13) – on an active approach to history: the attempt (key to the Kassel exhibition) at making history more contemporary and making the present more historical. In addition, two meetings with artists facilitated by Monika Szewczyk and Dieter Roelstraete: with Paulina Ołowska – on the role of nostalgia, fantasy and ghosts of the past and other ways of activating history; and Goshka Macuga – on her idea of combining (and thus, challenging) artistic and curatorial practices, and her method of work described as “archaeology of culture”.