Art Research Center
Learning / Teaching / Training Activity (LTTA) in Ljubjana

The 4th Learning / Teaching / Training / Activity (LTTA) mobility week of the Erasmus+ project Art Archives Exchange – Educational Strategies for Contemporary Art Archives was held between 31st of May and the 4th of June, 2021 in Ljubljana. The organizers of the event were Teja Merhar and Jana Ferhan from the Archives of the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MG+MSUM). On behalf of Artpool Art Research Center Dóra Halasi and Gabriella Schuller participated in the program.

The project was launched in 2018 by four archives: Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; basis wien, Wien; Archiv vytvarneho umeni, Prague; Muzeul National de Arta Contemporana al Romaniei, Bucharest; and the Museum of Fine Arts – Artpool Art Research Center, Budapest.It aimed to exchange experiences on the different working methods, and discuss various questions related to archiving. The final results summarise the lessons learned from the last 3 years (including a glossary of basic concepts and good archival practices) is accessible on the EAN website.

In Ljubljana we studied the operation of the MG+MSUM archive, methods of collecting and sorting, and an online database, which has been documenting the local and international exhibitions of the Slovenian artists since 1971. We got an insight of the Photo Archive of Moderna galerija and the Temporary Slovenian Dance Archive, which operates in the MSUM’s building but it is an independent institute. We visited the SCCA Ljubljana non profit institution where Vesna Bukovec introduced the Diva Station (Digital Video Archive), which was established in 2005 to research, present and preserve Slovenian video and media art. During these programs not only did our perspectives broaden, but we also learned about a number of aspects to consider (e.g. developing our own database and museum integration).

1. +MSUM archive

2. Moderna galerija Photo archive, leader: Sabina Povšič

3. Rok Vevar, Temporary Slovenian Dance Archive

4. +MSUM archive

5. Peter Cerovšek (SCCA)

The professional panels focused on the current situation and some previously identified topics: the impact of the pandemic on the functioning of our archives’ operation, the issues of digitization and online exhibitions, archiving of born-digital artworks, different operational frameworks and methods of the state museum, non profit institutions and art archives. In relation to the latter topic, participants turned to the history of Artpool with a particularly intense interest, because the 40 years of operation of our archive serve as a possible transition between the above categories.

Everyday life in Ljubljana gave an opportunity to experience the concept of a green city in practice. The most memorable meeting was the urban beekeeping which is not completely unknown to us (Dóra was a participant of the social honey community in 2013 in Budapest). When we checked into  the hotel we found out that there are 4 beehives on the top of the hotel where the bees are diligent in collecting honey, which can also be bought at the reception. On the rooftop another world unfolded before us: on one side of the terrace there are the beehives with lots of green space on the other side there are colorful chairs, tables and glass windows and the upwards space is completely open.

The participation of the 5 days long mobility week and follow-up was a challenge to attend, when we had to summarize the lessons learned and to solve new tasks (e.g. how to visualize or text that we learned from each other). Working together has further strengthened the importance of our role as archivists, the importance of learning by doing and our commitment to the arts.

Group photo on the roof terrace of the +MSUM. Photo: Vesna Bukovec (SCCA)

Cover image on the main page is a photo by Dejan Habicht.

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