Barcelona 2016 Report and Videos Online!

Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

We are happy to share the CIMAM 2016 Conference Report with information about the delegates, the budget, the travel grantees’ reports, the press clipping, the result of the evaluation survey and a selection of photos. You can also watch the conference sessions at CIMAM TV.
→ CIMAM 2016 Conference Report
→ CIMAM TV

President’s report

I am delighted to present this report after my election as President of CIMAM following the Annual General Assembly at the end of the CIMAM 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, where 230 museum professionals from nearly 60 countries gathered to discuss the topic The Museum and its Responsibilities. Each day commenced with a stimulating keynote: On day one, Marina Garcés made a forceful case for the museum’s social responsibility in a time of disruption for the world of culture; arguing that culture adds meaning to the collective life on ethical and political as well as aesthetic grounds – a highly appropriate rationale for the intrinsic need for museums in society – culture having the ‘force of hunger”. This was followed by perspectives from Bucharest, (Călin Dan), Middlesbrough (Alistair Hudson and Miguel Amado) and Gothenburg (Dave Beech).

Day two focused on curators and artists, opening with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s keynote which argued for art institutions as safe havens for intellectual discourse and museums as ‘trampolines for social change’. She referenced the complexities of the public/private debate outlining two areas where the public can challenge the private: with collections (that for the most part are kept for eternity) and in self critique. The perspectives came from France (artist Sylvie Blocher), Paraguay (Ticio Escobar) and Australia (Michael Dagostino).Day 3 on archives began with Mari Carmen Ramirez challenging of the necessity of archives as physical entities with an overview of the role of the digital archive Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art which is playing such an important role in addressing the lack of knowledge of Latin American art. She used this to make an argument for archives as being a force to resist the drive towards museums providing entertainment for the masses. The perspectives came from Taiwan (Kuan-Hsing Chen), London (artist Marysia Lewandowska) and Kazakhstan (Yuliya Sorokina). Three of the perspective presentations were selected from submissions made as a result of an open call to the membership for papers.The conference agenda allowed plenty of time to visit a range of organisations in Barcelona including MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, CaixaForum. Cultural Center of ”la Caixa” Foundation, the Fundació Joan Miró, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Hangar, Fabra i Coats Barcelona Center of Contemporary Art, the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, the MNAC, La Virreina Image Centre, the Blue Project Foundation and the Foto Colectania Foundation.The after trip began in San Sebastian, where a highlight was the visit to enchanting Museum Chillida-Leku, where we had a tour and a delicious lunch with Luis, son of Chillida – a very special opportunity as the museum is now sadly shut to the public. Bilbao and Santander had a strong architectural focus with the Guggenheim and the new Fundación Botín building by Renzo Piano (under construction). This was complemented by fascinating exhibitions by Francis Bacon and artists who inspired him in Bilbao and Joan Jonas in Santander.
The conference also saw the election of a new board for the triennial 2017 – 2019 and we are all very much looking forward to leading CIMAM into a new era. There are many challenges ahead and I hope that CIMAM will continue to develop its leadership role as a thought leader in museum practice as well as a promoter of museum professionals and principles.

I look forward to working with all of you and developing a productive working relationship with our members from around the world as we expand to become a truly global organisation.

Wishing you a prosperous and successful New Year!

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE
President of CIMAM
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australil