CIMAM highlights the issues of the new museum's scenario through a series of webinars


PR 12 October 2020

CIMAM highlights the issues of the new museum's scenario through a series of webinars that aim to be a platform for exchange, support, and learning among peers regarding sustainable solutions for facing this global crisis.

Barcelona, November 12, 2020 – Since early 2020, the COVID-19 crisis has hit the cultural sector hard, and most museums around the world have been forced to close their doors for long periods.

Issues such as funding, staff management, programming, commitment to communities, the sustainability of the sector, and a new way of communicating based on digital technology have highlighted the need, now more than ever, to exchange knowledge and resources among museum professionals to overcome this global crisis.

As part of CIMAM's mission to be a platform for dialogue, support, sharing, connecting, learning, and encouraging cooperation between all its members, the CIMAM Board has designed a Rapid Response Webinars program to continue discussing the most urgent concerns and questions affecting the modern and contemporary art museum community at this critical time.

This Rapid Response Webinars program started in May and has held five meetings to date, with the intention of providing short capsules on issues of urgent concern for the profession throughout the year, and of supporting professionals in their practices in the face of a global crisis that has affected everyone in different ways depending on the economic, political, and social reality of each country and each museum.

Moderated by CIMAM Board Members in different time zones, invited panelists represent different professional profiles connected to contemporary art museums such as curators, museum directors, and artists, offering a holistic view of the situation in which museums operate, and emphasizing their fundamental role within their communities.

The webinars held to date have addressed relevant topics for museum professionals such as the future role of museums in society and their engagement with audiences, their sustainability, and their new management and funding models, the commitment of museums to representing and responding to social crises, the capacity of these institutions to manage fluidly in the face of an economic, social, and environmental crisis like the one we are currently experiencing, and how the value systems by which the success of a museum was measured are reinterpreted in the current times.

CIMAM Board Members who have moderated each of these webinars are available for interviews to discuss and deepen these issues marking the new scenario in which museums must rethink their activity, role, and management model.


The View from Here (May 28) with Suzanne Cotter, CIMAM Board Member, and Director, Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean; Ernestine Mifetu-White, Director, William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley; and Sally Tallant, Queens Museum of Art, New York. Moderated by Frances Morris, CIMAM Board Member, and Director, Tate Modern, London.

“This crisis is an opportunity to remind everyone else that museums are part of the economics, the makeup of a place, and the identity of the people that live in that place.” Suzanne Cotter


Reaching Across Distancing (June 25) with Luis Camnitzer, Uruguayan artist and writer; Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, former Director, Museo Nacional de Arte (MNA), La Paz; Elvira Espejo Ayca, former Director, Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore (MUSEF), La Paz; and Agustín Pérez Rubio, CIMAM Board Member and Curator, 11th Berlin Biennale. Moderated by Victoria Noorthoorn, CIMAM Board Member and Director, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires.

“Museums are creators of a symbolic capital that can help in the idea of visibility, understanding, and awareness, but with this pandemic, the situation becomes more urgent because it has polarized the vulnerable. So, what kind of institutions are we building? What are the discourses that museums are giving now that we face lots of injustice within the art workers' world?” Agustín Pérez Rubio


Museum Audiences and Sustainability Today (July 30) with Zoe Butt, Director, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Saigon; Rhana Devenport, CIMAM Board Member and Director, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; and Gridthiya Gaweewong, Director, Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok. Moderated by Suhanya Raffel, CIMAM Board Member and Museum Director, M+, Hong Kong.

“Working online requires ingenuity, commitment, and time commitment, and what it has taught us is that, when thinking about sustainability, we are very agile as a group of people, as artists, as art workers. So, do we need to travel so much? Can we think about a more sustainable way of sharing artistic and creative work? But also thinking about the online experience in a more thoughtful way because of the relationship between the content and the audience.” Suhanya Raffel


RE-DEFINING POWER: Contemporary Conversations on the Role of Museums in Re-writing Histories (August 27) with Malgorzata Ludwisiak, CIMAM Board Member, Independent Art Critic, Curator, Ph.D., Warsaw; Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Director of the institution formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Wandile Kasibe, Public Programs Coordinator of the Iziko Museums of South Africa; and Sethembile Msezane, Multi-award-winning Artist, Cape Town. Moderated by Ernestine White-Mifetu, CIMAM Board Member, and Director of the William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley.

“The Rhodes Must Fall movement began as a response to the colonial figure of Cecil Rhodes, whose statue occupied a prominent space at the University that sought to produce African leaders. So how could we critically engage with this problematic figure? We needed to address structural issues and generate a necessary conversation and dialogue in a society that would pressure the University to remove the statue, and through that, we would address the issue of colonialism and symbolism in institutionalized racism.” Wandile Kasibe


IN BETWEEN: How are Contemporary Art Museums and their Stakeholders Dealing with a Fluid Situation? (September 24) with Tone Hansen, Director of Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK), Høvikodden; Zoran Erić, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; and Leevi Haapala, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma / Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki. Moderated by Ann-Sofi Noring, CIMAM Board Member, Co-Director, and Chief Curator, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and Calin Dan, CIMAM Board Member, Director, National Museum of Contemporary Art – MNAC, Bucharest.

“In these times that numbers cannot measure us is a fantastic opportunity to think about our mandates. What kind of platform can museums be in our society? How we deal with these mandates, how does our collection look, how is our gender balance, how is the representativeness of the program, how do we create something that is locally important right now?” Tone Hansen


How Should Museums be Defining 'Success’ in a Time of COVID? (28 October)

With Ferran Barenblit, Director, MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Ivet Curlin/WHW Collective, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Annie Fletcher, Director of IMMA, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Malgorzata Ludwisiak, CIMAM Board Member, Ph.D. Independent Art Critic and Curator, Warsaw.

Moderated by Sarah Glennie, CIMAM Board Member and Director, National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

The last webinars will be held on:

November 26 organized by Mami Kataoka, President of CIMAM, Director, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and Eugene Tan, CIMAM Board Member, Director, National Gallery Singapore and The Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.

The title, the names of invited panelists, the time, and abstracts will be announced on CIMAM's social networks.


Founded in 1962, CIMAM’s vision is a world where the contribution of museums, collections, and archives of modern and contemporary art to the cultural, social, and economic wellbeing of society is recognized and respected. Its mission is to foster a global network of museums and museum professionals to respond to the evolving needs of modern and contemporary art institutions, taking a leadership role on issues of concern by generating new and unpublished work that anticipates questions reflecting on the needs of the profession.

CIMAM Board 2020–22

Mami Kataoka, President of CIMAM and Director, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Suzanne Cotter, Secretary-Treasurer of CIMAM and Director, Mudam Luxembourg—Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg. Agustín Pérez Rubio, Curator 11th Berlin Biennale. Berlin, Germany. Ann-Sofi Noring, Co- director, Moderna Museet. Stockholm, Sweden. Bart De Baere, Director, M HKA— Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen. Antwerpen, Belgium. Calin Dan, Director, MNAC Bucharest—National Museum of Contemporary Art. Bucharest, Romania. Ernestine White- Mifetu, Director, William Humphreys Art Gallery. Kimberley, South Africa. Eugene Tan, Director, National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum. Singapore. Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern. London, United Kingdom. Malgorzata Ludwisiak, Independent Curator & Art Critic. Warsaw, Poland. Rhana Devenport, Director, Art Gallery of South Australia. Adelaide, Australia. Sarah Glennie, Director, National College of Art and Design. Dublin, Ireland. Saskia Bos, Art Historian and Curator. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+. Hong Kong, China. Victoria Noorthoorn, Director, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires, Argentina.