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L'Internationale - a new European museum confederation

L’Internationale is a network within the museum field; facilitating its development as a new form of cultural confederation where collections, artistic research, technology and public access can be shared across member institutions.

Contrary to the global hegemonic ambitions of the major contemporary art institutions, L’Internationale proposes a long-term collaboration among museums and archives—each of them with its specific collection focus and history— that intends to give greater visibility to their similarities and differences. L’Internationale proposes a space for art within a non-hierarchical and decentralised internationalism, based on the value of difference and horizontal exchange among a constellation of cultural agents, locally rooted and globally connected. Comprising six major European museums, Moderna Galerija (MG+MSUM, Ljubljana, Slovenia); Museo nacional centro de arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS, Madrid, Spain); Museu d’art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA, Barcelona, Spain); Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium); SALT (Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey) and Van Abbemuseum (VAM, Eindhoven, the Netherlands), L’Internationale is supported by complementary partner and associate organisations from the academic and artistic fields.

Each institution has shown through previous projects that they are repeatedly concerned to negotiate different forms of local knowledge and experience with the central art historical narrative written in one or two western political/economic capitals. This initiative will enable us more effectively to connect our own stories together in new rhizomatic ways and to reconsider internationalism and translocalism as more sensitive measures of art and its relation to society.

The concrete aims of L'Internationale are to develop common platforms and methodologies for presentation, education and research dealing with the full range of museological fields including collections, archives, publications, public mediation and conservation. The plan anticipates a long- term cooperation that will concentrate on replacing the institutional spectacle with a sense of persistent presence and would offer our publics regular connections between each specific context.

The first step of the long-term collaboration was the two-year project with the title 1957-1986. Art from the Decline of Modernism to the Rise of Globalisation by L’Internationale from October 2010 to October 2012.

The second step is the upcoming five-year project with the title The Uses of Art - on the legacy of 1848 and 1989 by L'internationale from May 2013 to May 2018.