14.04.2015. - 14.04.2015.

Inner Museum

The exhibition project the Inner Museum is based on several premises: primarily, the fact that contemporary art does not require tradition for its creation or reception and that one does not necessarily need to be well versed in art history in order to establish communication with a work of art. Contemporary art is not contemporary just because it was created in the present, but because it freely appropriates and uses non-artistic social fields (politics, economy, sports, etc.) to increase its visibility. Viewed from this perspective, a museum is not an essential stop in the roundabout of contemporary art production and reception. According to an Austrian artist and the director of the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Peter Weibel, only about 7% of all artworks created in the 20th century found their place in museum depots, thus acquiring the status of cultural heritage. Today, the situation remains much the same. It seems that art cannot do anything more but fight for the fleeting moment of (media) attention. 

Not only has it lost its aura of originality since the beginning of the 20th century, but it has also lost its aura of representativity under the conditions of late capitalist cultural hyperproduction of art. With its installations, actions and performances, there is perhaps no other cultural phenomenon more overtly immersed in everyday life than contemporary art. However, in a world which moves at the speed of its communication, this can only be considered as an advantage.

 The second premise of this project is based on the ever more pronounced process of musealization of everyday culture. Due to the technological paradigm shift – digitalization, the advent of personal computers, the Internet, cell phones, etc. – we are able to record, store and reproduce a much larger number of social events than it was possible within the traditional structures of archives, libraries, museums and the like. For instance, the Galženica Gallery's website does not only provide information about upcoming events, it is not just a promotional tool; it is an archive of 35-years of activities, that is, a space for public presentation of Gallery's art collection. Every museum collection is in fact a database and vice versa, and every exhibition display, including solo exhibitions, make visible the workings of the databases.

There is a paradoxical form of cultural democratization emerging against the backdrop of contemporary art's inclusion into the daily life, and more often, into popular culture – recent examples of this process being Marina Abramović's and Björk's exhibitions at the New York's Museum of Modern Art – and the musealization trend of everyday life. This democratic form is not centred on the idea of equality, but on quantification – a sheer enumeration of audience members, events, artefacts, information, likes. Within the Inner Museum, however, our interests lie not so much in the issue of quantification as in the tendency of erasing institutional boundaries. It is in this mild yet persistent reconfiguration of the nexus of museums and galleries in which we want to play our part. Thus, it seemed quite “natural” to organize an exhibition in which the works of supposedly incomprehensible and problematic contemporary artists would be displayed alongside everyday objects and phenomena of the allegedly banal culture, and put together with the artefacts from the Croatian museums’ collections. 

Perhaps the greatest challenge of this project lies in approaching the exhibition as a distinctive medium. The medium of an exhibition – especially when it came to solo exhibitions – often fell into the background, due primarily to the modernist myth of the unity of the work of art. Within the traditional museum context, the awareness about an exhibition as a specific medium of communication, where the audience – as opposed to theatre, film or dance audiences – were the most mobile and freest, usually came down to the choice of artefacts and their placement. Be it as it may, an exhibition is a particular form of a spatial, multisensory display. Not only are the artist and curator faced with the choice of content for the exhibition, but they also have to deal with the issue of how to present that content. How will the audience participate in the exhibition, how will they read this spatial hypertext, are key issues that are constantly being raised within the curatorial practice.

The Inner Museum aims to represent the psychological life through the medium of an exhibition. How to make visible intellectual and emotional processes that permeate our daily lives; with which items, with which works of art do we represent the concepts of the self, the soul, fear, happiness, reason; which renditions of exhibition events no longer have an effect on the audience, but are being imposed on the basis of their topicality; what is allowed for the audience to do and what is prohibited etc.? With the help of artists, audience and curators, we hope to meet these challenges.