CONFERENCE Museum of the Avant-Garde or the Avant-Garde Museum? Collecting the Radical - 2-3.12.2017

CONFERENCE Museum of the Avant-Garde or the Avant-Garde Museum? Collecting the Radical - 2-3.12.2017

Place Ogrodowa 19, 91-065 Łódź, Poland, POLAND
Organizer Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź and Adam Mickiewicz Institute
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On the 2nd and 3rd of December, Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź organises an international academic conference devoted to collecting as an avant-garde practice and held within this year’s celebrations of the Year of the Avant-garde in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. The invited experts will concentrate on the early days of the institutionalisation of the avant-garde and their meaning for today’s museum activity. They will also discuss the earliest examples of collecting avant-garde art, initiatives of self-institutionalisation emerging from within the avant-garde itself, as well as contemporary manners of working with the avant-garde heritage. The discussion will also focus on the social and political dimension of the practice of avant-garde collectorship and the question of the benefits that it can bring today.

The invited guests include such figures as: Jeremy Braddock, author of a book devoted to the Modernist context of such undertakings as the Société Anonyme collection, co-created by Marcel Duchamp; Juliet Kinchin, who will explain the history of the beginnings of the modern design collection at the MoMA in New York; Francisco Godoy Vega, who will present the first museums of modern art in Brazil and Chile as a response to the formation of the idea of “Latin American art”; Annika Öhrner, who concentrates on forming modern art institutions in Scandinavia; and Rebecca Uchill, who studies the activity of Alexander Dorner – the founder of modern and progressive museology in the 1920s. The conference also features: Maria Gough, outstanding expert in Russian and Soviet avant-garde, and Arseni Zhilyaev, author of the pioneering publication Avant-Garde Museology, comprising texts by Casimir Malevich and Alexander Bogdanov, amongst other figures. Their papers will address the character and results of reforms in the field of museology that were introduced after the October Revolution in collaboration with radical artistic circles. A comparison of different models of avant-garde collecting and collecting the avant-garde will provide the topic of the paper by the o.k. group (founded by Julian Myers and Joanna Szupińska in homage to the a.r. group). The history of the collection of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź and current forms of working with the collection will be discussed by Tomasz Załuski and Daniel Muzyczuk.

The conference is accompanied by a screening of the documentary film The Desert of Forbidden Art (dir. Tchavdar Georgiev, Amanda Pope), which tells the extraordinary story of Igor Savitsky, painter, archaeologist and ethnographer, collector of avant-garde art since the 1930s, founder of the Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art in Nukus.

The conference marks one of the stages of the multi-year and multi-staged project pursued by Muzeum Sztuki whose goal consists in highlighting the globally pioneering character of the International Modern Art Collection of the a.r. group.

The list of conference participants includes:
Jeremy Braddock (Cornell University), Francisco Godoy Vega (La Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), grupa o.k. (Julian Myers, California College of the Arts, and Joanna Szupińska, California Museum of Photography), Maria Gough (Harvard University), Juliet Kinchin (MoMA New York), Annika Öhrner (Södertörn University), Daniel Muzyczuk (Muzeum Sztuki), Rebecca Uchill (University of Massachusetts), Tomasz Załuski (Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź, University of Łódź), Arseny Zhilyaev (artist)

SATURDAY 2.12.2017
12.00 Welcome and introductions
12.40 grupa o.k.: The Avant-garde Collection: An Introduction
13.20 Jeremy Braddock: The others Formation and the Société Anonyme
14.00 Daniel Muzyczuk: Present Past. International Collection of Modern Art Between Avant-Garde and Actualisation
14.40 Discussion
16.00 Rebecca Uchill: Alexander Dorner and the Impossible Exhibition
16.40 Francisco Godoy Vega: We Were Never Modern. Tensions and Inventions at the Birth of Latin American Modern Art Museums
17.20 Discussion
18.00 Screening: The Desert of Forbidden Art (dir. Tchavdar Georgiev, Amanda Pope)

SUNDAY 3.12.2017
10.30 Maria Gough: The Work of Art Remade: The Politics & Aesthetics of Reconstruction
11.10 Arseny Zhilyaev: The Vulgar Freedom of Museum Work
11.50 Tomasz Załuski: Art as an Agent of Modernisation. Władysław Strzemiński’s Double Politics of Social Change, the Museum, and the Artistic Culture
12.30 discussion
12.50 Juliet Kinchin: Art in an Expanded Field: Canonizing Avant-Garde Design at MoMA
13.30 Annika Öhrner: Inventing the Avant-Garde. Moderna Museet in the 1960’s
14.10 Discussion