Zdenka Badovinac is a curator and writer who served from 1993 to 2020 as Director of the Moderna galerija in Ljubljana, which since 2011 has spanned two locations: the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova. In her work, Badovinac highlights the difficult processes of redefining history alongside different avant-garde traditions within contemporary art. Her first exhibition to address these issues was Body and the East—From the 1960s to the Present, Moderna galerija, 1998. Badovinac also initiated the first Eastern European art collection, Arteast 2000+. One her most important recent projects is NSK from Kapital to Capital: Neue Slowenische Kunst – An Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia, Moderna galerija, 2015 (which also traveled to Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2016; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2016; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2017). Other recent exhibitions include NSK State Pavilion, 5th Venice Biennale, 2017, co-curated with Charles Esche; The Heritage of 1989. Case Study: The Second Yugoslav Documents Exhibition, Moderna galerija, 2017, co-curated with Bojana Piškur; Sites of Sustainability: Pavilions, Manifestos and Crypts; Hello World. Revising a Collection, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, 2017; and Heavenly Beings: Neither Human nor Animal, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana, 2018, co-curated with Bojana Piškur.
Badovinac’s most recent book is Comradeship: Curating, Art, and Politics in Post-socialist Europe (Independent Curators International, 2019). She is a founding member of L’Internationale, a confederation of seven modern and contemporary European art institutions. Badovinac was Slovenian Commissioner at the Venice Biennale from 1993 to 1997 and in 2005; Austrian Commissioner at the São Paulo Biennial in 2002; and President of CIMAM – International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art from 2010 to 2013.
Back to the East?, lecture and conversation
Evenings with WHW Akademija
Zdenka Badovinac discussed rethinking the notion of “locality” and artistic and institutional practices in the current sociopolitical moment.