NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2012 / TABLE OF CONTENTS                         

This year’s CIMAM conference, titled Museums Beyond the Crises, revolved around two main themes: reflections about working conditions of museums at the time of the global economic crisis, and, on the other hand, the new forms of cultural production evolving particularly in the south-eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf regions.

CIMAM 2012 Annual Conference Museums Beyond the Crises took place from November 12-14, 2012 in Istanbul. A total of 218 delegates from over 58 different countries attended the three day program hosted by SALT Galata and organized in collaboration with SALT. The conference program featured 3 Keynote speeches, 9 Case Studies, 5 Understanding Local Context sessions, workshops and visits to the foremost contemporary art institutions in Istanbul. A post-conference tour to Beirut took place on November 15-16.


On November 5th, 2012 the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Latin America Art, Long Beach (MOLAA), announced the departure of Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, who had served as vice president of curatorial affairs and chief curator of the museum since 2009.
By Andrea Giunta, Natalia Majluf and Ivo Mesquita

          CIMAM NEWS                                                                                                    


Zdenka Badovinac, CIMAM 2012 Annual Conference, Museums beyond the Crises

This year’s CIMAM conference, titled Museums Beyond the Crises, revolved around two main themes: reflections about working conditions of museums at the time of the global economic crisis, and, on the other hand, the new forms of cultural production evolving particularly in the south-eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf regions. Both conflict-torn territories (such as Beirut) and places of economic growth and predominantly private capital (like Istanbul) are grappling with a situation marked by the absence of a proper, continuous historicizing, musealizing and archiving of their artistic traditions. In these and certain other non-Western regions, the care for cultural heritage is not necessarily the domain of professional museum institutions.
With their archives, art spaces such as SALT, Istanbul, and the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut, are becoming prominent partners in the care for the global heritage. With the opening of such new spaces the networks of agents involved in heritage work are becoming increasingly heterogeneous and are also modifying their established work methodologies. Also in regions where the tradition of cultural institutions is of long standing, more and more museums are entering into close collaboration with art spaces of a different status. One of the conclusions we arrived at at the conference workshops was that in such collaborations the need to develop common methodologies and interpretive tools on a global level is becoming increasingly apparent.
While prominent international museums have long been careful to remain open toward new spaces, they are now facing a new stage. They are becoming aware that they themselves have changed as well as a result of the new processes and mutual influences.

CIMAM conferences are increasingly instrumental in advancing the knowledge about the art of, and the modes of cultural production in, different environments. As the conference underscored, in terms of museum work, new collaborative approaches to education need to be developed to this end (Eungie Joo). While this year’s conference did give the floor – and adequate visibility – to the most conflict-ridden area in the region, Syria (Róza El-Hassan, Shadi Al-Shhadeh), it also made a break with the habitual anticipation of dramatic reports from crisis areas. As some of our speakers pointed out, cultural production is, among other things, also a pleasure, which is one of the conditions for survival (Sarah Rifky). These new experiences and conditions require a rethinking of the perception of artworks (Bassam El Baroni). Also in conditions of crisis art remains central. As one of the keynote speeches suggested, art itself predicts the next stage of capital. The explanation of self-referentiality of meta-finance (Ismail Ertürk) made us think of modernist art. Art also tends to be the first to point out the drama between an individual and reality (Keti Chukhrov), which soon becomes a subject of museums and then of capital. This said, we must not forget to ask ourselves who ultimately profits most from all these processes (Tirdad Zolghadr).

Today we are witnessing major cultural, political, and economic upheavals on the global level, which are also affecting museum work. While this year’s conference has highlighted the new modes of production in the new regions that have recently gained visibility in the international art world, it seems that a pertinent question for next year’s conference to address would be how these new modes of production affect traditional museum structures.

Zdenka Badovinac, President of CIMAM


CIMAM 2012 Annual Conference Museums Beyond the Crises took place from November 12-14, 2012 in Istanbul.

A total of 218 delegates from over 58 different countries attended CIMAM 2012 Annual Conference in Istanbul. CIMAM offered 28 travel grants funded by The Getty Foundation, Los Angeles, 5 travel grants funded by the Fundación Cisneros / Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and supported the attendance of 4 professionals from across the UK in collaboration with the British Council.

CIMAM 2012 Annual Conference was hosted by SALT Galata and organized in collaboration with SALT.

CIMAM also received support from contemporary art institutions in Istanbul such as Arter, Borusan Contemporary and Istanbul Modern as well as from contemporary art galleries Galerist and Rampa.

Turkish Airlines was the official airline of CIMAM 2012 Annual Conference.

Keynote speakers included Bassam el Baroni, Curator, Art Critic and Director of Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Alexandria; Keti Chukhrov, Philosopher, Berlin / Moscow and Ismail Ertürk, Senior Lecturer in Banking, PMO Division, Manchester Business School, Manchester.

Case study presentations by Cosmin Costinas, Executive Director, Para / Site Art Space, Hong Kong; Róza El-Hassan, Artist and Curator, Hungary / Syria and Shadi Al-Shhadeh, Founder and Director, Zaytoon, Syria / Egypt; Eungie Joo, Director of Art and Cultural Programs, Inhotim; Koyo Kouoh, Founder and Artistic Director of RAW MATERIAL COMPANY, Dakar; Miguel A. López, Independent Curator, Lima; Sarah Rifky, Co-Director, Beirut, Cairo; Sandra Terdjman, Founding Director, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; Chin-tao Wu, Associate Research Fellow, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taiwan and Tirdad Zolghadr, Faculty Member, CCS Bard College, New York.

Understanding Local Context Sessions and visits included a panel discussion moderated by Özge Ersoy with the following artist run organizations from Istanbul: Pist///, Bas and 5533. A presentation of SAHA was made by its General Secretary, Merve Çağlar.

The conference program included visits to Arter, Depo, Galerist, Istanbul Modern, The First Istanbul Design Biennial, Rampa, SALT Galata and SALT Beyoğlu.


The Sky Over Beirut, A guided tour of the historical city center of Beirut by Tony Chakar. Image taken on November 16, 2012.

CIMAM 2012 Post-Conference Tour to Beirut took place on November 15 and 16, 2012.
A total of 26 delegates participated in this tour that included visits to the Arab Image Foundation, 98Weeks Research / Project Space, Beirut Art Center, Ashkal Alwan and Sfeir-Semler gallery. Tony Chakar gave the participants a tour of the historical city center of Beirut as part of his project The Sky Over Beirut. CIMAM 2012 Post-Conference Tour was organized with the collaboration of Zeina Arida, Director of the Arab Image Foundation, with the generous support of Cherine Tayeb and Andrée Sfeir-Semler.

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A full report of CIMAM 2012 Annual Conference will be available by 15 December 2012 at or by request at


Co-founder and Artistic Director: Bose Krishnamachari. Co-founder and Director of Programmes: Riyas Komu.

CIMAM members are welcome during the Biennale preview on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 and during the Biennale. To register and add your name to the guest list, please send an email to including your name, surname, position, institution and CIMAM membership username. You will be required to show your CIMAM membership card when collecting your accreditation. For more information on the program and venues, please visit the Biennial´s website:

Inventer le monde. (8 November, 2012 – 13 January, 2013)
Artistic Director: Abdellah Karroum. Associate Curator for Special Projects: Didier Houenoude. Supported by a broad group of professionals in the Curatorial Delegation.
CIMAM members received free admission during the Biennale preview days on November 8 - 11, 2012 and will continue receiving free admission throughout the Biennale. Upon arrival to the Biennale, CIMAM members will be provided with informational materials on the artistic scene in Benin. You will be required to show your CIMAM membership card upon entrance. For further information on Bénin Biennale program please visit

CIMAM thanks the institutions that have agreed to offer free admission to card carrying CIMAM members.
Click HERE for updated list of Biennials and Institutions allowing free entry to CIMAM members.
          CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUMS WATCH                                                     


On November 5th, 2012 the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Latin America Art, Long Beach (MOLAA), announced the departure of Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, who had served as vice president of curatorial affairs and chief curator of the museum since 2009. Prior to assuming the position at MOLAA, Ms. Fajardo-Hill was director and chief curator of the Cisneros Fontanals Arts Foundation and the Ella Fontanals Cisneros Collection in Miami. Ms. Fajardo-Hill was not fired. Rather, the board simply eliminated the position, along with three other full-time posts as part of a 15% cut in the budget.

Director and CEO, Stuart A. Ashman justified Fajardo-Hill’s departure on the basis of a supposed decline in membership and attendance over the last few years. Though the statistics he cites have been questioned, the argument nonetheless points to the ideas behind the museum board’s decisions and their disregard for the quality and intellectual substance of public programs.  

Mr. Ashman indeed failed to mention that Fajardo-Hill's vision transformed the institution from a provincial family museum to a site of true debate and exchange with specialized art audiences across Latin America. Under her tenure MOLAA acquired prominence in the field through the organization of significant exhibitions, based on rigorous scholarship, as well as partnerships with national and international art institutions. MOLAA also became central in creating bridges between North and South through initiatives like the mayor symposium Between Theory and Practice: Rethinking Latin American Art in the 21st Century in Los Angeles and Lima.

Beyond the particular issues that may have motivated Fajardo-Hill’s departure, the move to eliminate the position of chief curator, so central for an art museum, threatens the process of professionalization that MOLAA had initiated. In addition, the museum's engagement with the region is seriously jeopardized by the absence of clear curatorial leadership. More generally, the decision also calls into question institutional policies that work against the museum’s stated mission of educating the public on Latin American art, as well as the fundamental principles of a public trust.

Andrea Giunta
Natalia Majluf
Ivo Mesquita
           OPEN CALLS & APPOINTMENTS                                                                  


El Museo del Barrio announced today the appointment of Chus Martinez as its Chief Curator. Ms. Martinez is expected to join El Museo before year's end. Margarita Aguilar, Director of El Museo, said, "Chus Martinez is an inspiring curator who will bring an innovative and exciting approach to our collections and exhibitions." Ms. Aguilar explained that Ms. Martinez's background in philosophy and art history, combined with her knowledge of current artistic practices and cultural issues, "will advance El Museo's mission of opening new perspectives and expanding audiences for the vibrant and diverse cultural heritage of Latino, Latin American and Caribbean art." Ms. Aguilar also added, "EI Museo del Barrio is especially grateful to Estrellita Brodsky for her support and generosity in making this position possible."

Ms. Martinez comes to El Museo after three years of working as Head of Department, Artistic Direction, of the most important international contemporary art exhibition, dOCUMENT A (13), which took place June 6 - September 16, 2012 in Kassel, Germany. Ms. Martinez was also Chief Curator at MACBA, Barcelona until 2011, and director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein from 2005-2008. In 2010, she was guest curator and advisor to the 29th Bienal de Sao Paulo, and in 2008 she was guest curator for SITE Santa Fe's Seventh International Biennial. For the 50th Biennale di Venezia in 2005, Ms. Martinez curated the National Pavilion of Cyprus. Ms. Martinez said, "I am honored and excited to be joining El Museo del Barrio, an institution whose mission I share. I am looking forward to contributing to its community, history, and future, and I hope to create new opportunities and paradigms to put El Museo in dialogue with the world."

El Museo del Barrio, New York's leading Latino cultural institution, welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. Their richness is represented in El Museo's wide-ranging collections and critically acclaimed exhibitions, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations, and educational programs.

Visit for more information.


The YRAC is an 80-hectare, not-for-profit arts centre comprising the Yinchuan Art Museum (YAM), Artists Village (international artist residency programme), Art History Park and Sculpture Grounds. The Centre will open in June 2014.

YRAC S-base in the Gillman Barracks arts cluster, Singapore, is the Centre’s international office, which focuses on the museological and curatorial development (including exhibition design) for the Centre. S-base began its operation in September 2012. The “base” also runs exhibition and public programmes. It has presented Boedi Widjaja: Sungai Sejarah and more than a dozen public programmes, including a seminar on Islamic Art.

YRAC’s Programming Matrix: YRAC’s collection, exhibition, publication, artist residency and public programmes are inter-related by a matrix of variable durations, platforms and programming components, for multiple channels of interface between art practice, collection/commission and audience engagement.

Going beyond the usual duration of museum exhibitions and biennales each of several months, the broader matrix allows programming components to support one another, creating points of overlap and connection, for different timelines to be realized based on the needs of artwork and discursive development, and project requirements as defined by the objectives.

The Inaugural Programme: The inaugural programme comprises the inaugural exhibition of YAM, as well as an array of programming of various durations within and beyond the exhibition period, relating to the Artists Village, Art History Park and Sculpture Grounds.

The inaugural exhibition is developed along the theme of visual and cultural mapping. “Mapping” here refers to the facilitation of a discursive field incorporating cartography, knowledge categories (art and science), historical oil and ink paintings, and contemporary works and practices. The framework allows the exploration of what the historic encounter of oil-representational art and ink-conceptual art may inform or inspire current understanding of trans-cultural perspectives.

YAM has a collection of some one hundred early Chinese oil paintings which will continue on as a permanent collection display beyond the period of the inaugural exhibition. Eight publications have been planned for the YRAC inaugural programme.

Curatorial Positions: YRAC is inviting applications for 3 curatorial and programme planning, and 2 exhibition/collection management positions. The YRAC staff will work together with our network of international artists, curators and scholars. We welcome arts professionals with at least 3 years of institutional or project experience, particularly those with parallel interest in curatorial and museum administration to discuss with us about these positions. The package will be commensurate with knowledge and experience, and pegged to the general salary structure in Singapore. The positions will be based in Singapore in 2012 to 2013, and in Yinchuan, China after November 2013. Chinese language training will be provided in Singapore. Please email Dr Xue Liqing at yracSbase @ Our web site:


Beginning July 1, 2013 or as agreed.
Application deadline: January 8, 2013

Fotomuseum Winterthur is an international museum. It sees itself as a vibrant space for exhibitions, education and collection, dedicated to the presentation and discourse on photography and images related to photography.
Founded in 1993, Fotomuseum Winterthur sees photography as an art form as well as a documentation of reality. It presents perspectives on photography through monographic and theme-oriented exhibitions, symposia, exhibition tours, and lectures, as well as the blog Still Searching – An Online Discourse on Photography and Plat(t)form. In addition, it hosts a comprehensive collection which is publicly accessible on its homepage.

The Directors are responsible for the exhibition, education and event programs as well as the operational management of the museum. The precise areas of responsibility for both Co-Directors will be defined accordingly.

In the position of Co-Director we seek someone of the younger generation. Candidates should be particularly knowledgeable in the history of photography as well as contemporary international photography and art. Candidates should have completed art college or university studies and have proven experience in organization and project management. They should be well versed in current forms of communication and new media, and display an aptitude for creativity and teamwork. Linguistic proficiency in German and English is also required.

For further information, please contact Monika Faber (, and visit

Please send your detailed application by January 8, 2013 to:
Findungskommission Fotomuseum Winterthur
c/o Franz Probst
Bahnhofplatz 18
CH-8400 Winterthur, Switzerland


Art historian, curator and theorist of visual art and culture Suzana Milevska from Skopje, Macedonia is the recipient of this year's Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory. Initiated and funded by ERSTE Foundation, the biennial award recognises outstanding cultural activities related to the Central and South Eastern European region. Additionally, grants were given to the Berlin-based Slavicist Sabine Hänsgen; art historian Klara Kemp-Welch, from London; and the European Roma Cultural Foundation, based in Budapest. The award ceremony was held in Warsaw at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art on 16 November, accompanied by a conference and presentation of the book Igor Zabel: Contemporary Art Theory.  

Suzana Milevska, art historian, curator and theorist of visual art and culture, is honoured with the Igor Zabel Award for her interdisciplinary approach to both theoretical and curatorial practices. Her work focuses on topics such as art in post-socialist and transitional societies, collaborative and participatory art practices, gender differences and feminist art, and the construction of visual memory in photographic archives, to name just a few areas. One of her most notable recent curatorial projects was The Renaming Machine(2008–2010), which focused on the politics of renaming and overwriting memory in politics, art and visual culture in general. In recent years, she has conducted in-depth research projects and prepared exhibitions, talks and symposiums on Roma issues, working mostly with Roma artists. Milevska also remains active in the local Macedonian art scene as a curator and theorist, where her work plays a vital role for the next generation of artists, theorists and curators. In this respect, the jury views her work as a continuation of the basic premises and principles embodied by the practice of Igor Zabel.

The Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory supports the work of art historians and theorists in Central and South Eastern Europe and highlights the notion of arts and culture, encouraging the production of cultural knowledge and exchange between 'East' and 'West.' The laureate is selected by an international jury appointed by the ERSTE Foundation and Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory. In 2012, the jury consisted of the following members: Alenka Gregorič, curator and director of Mestna Galerija (Ljubljana); Yuri Leiderman, artist (Berlin and Moscow); and Hanna Wróblewska, director of the Zachęta National Gallery of Art (Warsaw)
Book launch of Igor Zabel: Contemporary Art Theory
Edited by Igor Španjol
Selection of texts by Zoja Skušek and Barbara Borčić
Published by JRP|Ringier
In co-edition with Les presses du réel and Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory, ERSTE Foundation and Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana.

This book brings for the first time a comprehensive selection of Igor Zabel's writings in English. This important translation brings forward Zabel's extraordinary analytical and emphatic thinking and writing on modern and contemporary art from Socialist Realism and Conceptual Art to Post-Modernism and Contextual Art, particularly in Slovenia and South-Eastern Europe.


The School of Art, Design and Performance, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has appointed Christine Eyene as Guild Research Fellow – Contemporary Art.

Christine Eyene studied History of Contemporary Art at Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne and earned a D.E.A (Diplôme d’Études Approfondies), supervised by Philippe Dagen, in 1999. She has been researching modern and contemporary South African art since the late 1990s, specialising in the story of artists in exile during Apartheid and their cultural interactions with the Black Diaspora in France and England. Her essays on this topic have examined the art of pioneering modernists Ernest Mancoba and Gerard Sekoto, as well as Dumile Feni, Gavin Jantjes and George Hallett. Her other areas of research include Britain’s Black Art (1980s), representations of the body, gender narratives, performance art and urban culture. Eyene has been visual arts co-editor of French journal Africultures since 2002 and has contributed to the field of contemporary African art through her writings in journals, exhibition catalogues and books.

In 2010 she embarked in an international career as an independent curator. She was co-curator of Dak’Art 2012 – Biennale of Contemporary African Art with Nadira Laggoune and Riason Naidoo, and curator of the African selection of Photoquai 2011 – Biennial of World Images, with Françoise Huguier, Artistic Director. Her other projects include “Roma-Sinti-Kale-Manush” (May-July 2012) at Rivington Place, London, as co-curator with Mark Sealy, Director of Autograph ABP and Gabi Scardi, Independent Curator; “Reflections on the Self – Five African Women Photographers” (2011-2014), London and UK, as part of Hayward Touring; and “[Kaddu Jigeen] – Women Speak Out” (2011-2013), Galerie Le Manège, Dakar and touring Africa.

Eyene joins the team of Making Histories Visible, an interdisciplinary visual art research project based at UCLan’s Centre for Contemporary Art, led by Lubaina Himid MBE, Professor of Contemporary Art. Over the next five years, she will be working alongside Professor Himid and Research Fellow Susan Walsh, conducting and publishing internationally leading research on the art of the Black Diaspora. Her role will also consist in devising and leading innovative curatorial projects which investigate how museums and collections ca­n work collaboratively with contemporary artists to address diverse audiences for visual art in Britain.

UCLan’s 2012 fellowship scheme is part of Preston Guild, a historic celebration held only once every 20 years since 1179. The Guild Research Fellowship is a prestigious award aimed at academics of the highest quality who are already on a research path to being a world-class researcher.

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