Mobile, Virtual, Ephemeral: Collections of the Future?

Mobile, Virtual, Ephimeral .jpg

Thursday 31 March 2022, 17:00 hrs CEST.

Mobile, Virtual, Ephemeral: Collections of the Future?

In the times of museums being burned down because of war or put at risk because of climate disaster effects – what is a meaning of a public art collection? Could we imagine a different definition of collecting, an alternative circulation of objects, or an art museum without art objects? What if museums start collecting narratives or if the collection is co-owned by the local or international communities? Asking such questions and speculating on possible answers seems to be inevitable on the threshold of profound changes in the surrounding world and at the same time of changes awaiting museums of modern and contemporary art.

The upcoming CIMAM webinar will go a step further by taking a look at four different and radical approaches to the idea and practice of possible museums’ collections. The curators of the four diverse initiatives will share their experience: on virtual museum hosting international collections of Roma art (Timea Junghaus, Executive Director of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) will speak on behalf of RomaMoMA), on mobility and establishing a relationship with local communities (Sofia Dourron from Museo La Ene in Buenos Aires), on co-owning the collection of artists’ novels developed by M HKA (Joanna Zielinska and David Maroto from The Book Lovers collective) and on managing artistic heritage and collections in times of war by Piotr Rypson, Adjunct Professor at New Media Department, Polish-Japanese Academy of Computer Technology; Curator at the Jewish Historical Institute and Chair of ICOM Poland.


  • Sofia Dourron, Independent Curator and former director of Museo La Ene, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Timea Junghaus, Executive Director of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC), on behalf of RomaMoMA.
  • The Book Lovers Collective (Joanna Zielinska & David Maroto) based in Antpern, Beligum.
  • Piotr Rypson, Adjunct Professor at New Media Department, Polish-Japanese Academy of Computer Technology. Curator at the Jewish Historical Institute, and Chair of ICOM Poland.

Moderated by CIMAM Board Members:

  • Agustín Pérez Rubio, Independent Curator, Madrid, Spain
  • Malgorzata Ludwisiak, Chief Curator, Department of Modern Art, National Museum in Gdansk, Poland.


  • Sofia Dourron

Sofía Dourron (b. 1984. Argentina) is an independent curator and researcher. Holds a BA in Art History and Management, an MA in Latin American Art History and was a participant in the De Appel Curatorial Progrmme 2018/2019. In 2019 she was an International research fellow at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea. Her recent projects include: Temporada Fulgor. Foto Estudio Luisita (Malba, 2021 ), Myths of the Near Future (Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, 2020 ), Landscape with Bear (De Appel, Amsterdam, 2019), Sin título. Elba Bairon (Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, 2017) and Avello: Joven profesional multipropósito (Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, 2017). She has contributed essays for publications on artists such as Joaquín Boz, Dignora Pastorello, Juan del Prete, Jorge Lezama, Eduardo Vigo, Hernán Soriano and Marta Minujín, amongst others. Dourron was part of La Ene, Nuevo Museo Energía de Arte Contemporáneo, which she directed between 2015 and 2018, and was a Curator at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires. She lives and works in Buenos Aires.

Her current work researches the relationships between the Latin-American decolonial perspective, the notion of the decolonization of the unconscious, and artistic artistic practices. She also continues her work on art institutions in Latin America, focusing on the paradigms of the museum as a colonial device, and designing alternative genealogies that scape the modern universalist canon.

About Museo La Ene. Nuevo Museo de Energía de Arte Contemporáneo [New Energy Museum of Contemporary Art] 2012-2018

La Ene was founded in August 2010 as a platform for criticism, research and transformation of institutional ways in which art is currently produced, legitimized, distributed and marketed. Being the first museum for contemporary art in Buenos Aires, La Ene exercises a radical intervention on its environment, renewing the ways in which museums are perceived while questioning the arguable opposition between the alternative and the institutional. Thuus boosting and promoting a space for critical thinking on arts, and becoming an open, flexible, dynamic, expansive and chévere museum.

At the beginning, La Ene operated out of a storefront in the Patio del Liceo, an old school turned mall in the 90s abandoned in the early 00s and slowly occupied by artists and designers by 2010. This story is no different from many other institutions in Latin America: searching for more caring and responsive ways of institution art is not new. Furthermore, institutional dissidence or deviance as Charles Esche might call it, is not opposed to institutions as we know them, it just works around them, infiltrating new ideas and practices through its cracks, it is a part of them. La Ene did just that, it brought together a specific group of subjectivities inclined to institutionalization and savvy in independent cultural practices, to infiltrate the cracks. This intersection not only crated a space, but it also gave place to a curatorial practice and ideas that would determine the following ten years worth of projects, exhibitions, residencies and a collection.

The collection is stored in a hard drive and a cloud; its pieces are reproduced every time an exhibition is organized, and are adapted to the given conditions of production. A piece may vary in material specifics size, and manner of reproduction depending on available space, budget and willingness to execute. In that sense, the collection’s adaptability is a metaphor for the ways of collaborating in which La Ene has engaged both within and with others. By instituting the collection, we also delved into the complex issue of museum collecting practices related to this modern-colonial device, its categorizations, and the values it creates. Conceived to raise questions about how cultural patrimony is acquired, preserved, and circulated, the collection is a hybrid set, combining notions of collecting and archiving with information technologies, reflecting the possibilities of the museum as a critical form.

Since 2018 La Ene has been undergoing a slow transformation. Since closing its physical space it has been mutating into an archive in collaboration with the Archivo Espigas, and an ad hoc institution that materializes itself when called upon.

  • Timea Junghaus

Tímea Junghaus is an art historian and contemporary art curator. She started in the position of Executive Director of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture in September 2017. Previously, Junghaus was Research Fellow of the Working Group for Critical Theories at the Institute for Art History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2010-2017). She has researched and published extensively on the conjunctions of modern and contemporary art with critical theory, with particular reference to issues of cultural difference, colonialism, and minority representation. She is completing her Ph.D. studies in Cultural Theory at the Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest.

In recognition of her curatorial activities, Junghaus received the Kairos – European Cultural Price from the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S., in 2008. Her curatorial works include the Roma component of the Hidden Holocaust- exhibition in the Budapest Kunsthalle (2004), Paradise Lost – the First Roma Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Contemporary Art Biennale (2007), the Archive and Scholarly Conference on Roma Hiphop (2010), The Romani Elders and the Public Intervention for the Unfinished Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered Under the National Socialist Regime in the frame of the 7th Berlin Biennale (2012), the (Re-)Conceptualizing Roma Resistance – exhibition and education program in Hellerau, Dresden (2015) and the Goethe Institute, Prague (2016). She is the curator of the Visual Arts Section for RomArchive – Digital Archive of the Roma, funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes (2015-2018).

Junghaus was the founding director of Gallery8 – Roma Contemporary Art Space ( in Budapest (2013-2017), the winner of the 2014 Catalyst Contemporary Art Award (of Tranzit Hungary) and the 2014 Otto Pankok Prize awarded by the For Roma Foundation of German writer and Literary Nobel Laureate, Günter Grass.

About RomaMoMA

RomaMoMA is a contemporary art project initiating a forum for collaborative reflection on a future Roma Museum of Contemporary Art, with the involvement of local and international, Roma and non-Roma artists, cultural experts, social scientists and the civil sphere. RomaMoMA is a joint initiative of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) and OFF-Biennale Budapest. In the form of a contemporary art project, by means of involving stakeholder communities, and exploiting the possibilities of collective thinking and discourse, as well as the critical and discursive potentials of contemporary art, it – “prefiguratively” – “creates” itself: an imagined and yet real space that is home to both the Roma arts and artists.

The suffix in the title, “MoMA” (Museum of Modern Art) is a reference to the prototype of art museums, and it emphasises the dominant role of museums in processes of canonisation, as well as the lack of self-representation by minority groups in museum collections.

RomaMoMA aims to engage in dialogue with the above actors across nations. At the same time, RomaMoMA – albeit not affiliated with any government programme or party policy – is a political statement. On the one hand, because the question of the museum is not the private business of the Roma community, because it concerns the redistribution of resources and the transformation of power relations within the society. The focus is not on the realisation of the institution, but on the “act” of conception. It is a discursive and performative process, in the course of which questions regarding the “museum” are discussed with the involvement of every stakeholder: collection strategies, exhibition practice, and art education and mediation methodology, alongside such essential questions as the image the museum should convey of the Roma, and the impact it might have on the impacted (minority and majority) communities. Furthermore, RomaMoMA devotes particular attention to addressing the young public, developing a proprietary methodology for the reinforcement of social dialogue between Roma and non-Roma communities.

Rather than the realisation of a specific museum concept, the project connects a range of programmes (exhibitions, film screenings, performance, workshops, etc.), modelling nomadic, flexible institutional operation, which raises questions and formulates statements with the devices of contemporary art. It aspires to achieve all of this in accordance with the museum approaches of the 21st century that extend social engagement to reconsidering the relations of museum narratives, cultural heritage and contemporaneity. Although each of the presented artworks contributes to the creative act of the collaborative conception with a unique voice, they share a common desire for narrative, speech and dialogue; their raw material is also shared: contemporary society.

  • The Book Lovers Collective (Joanna Zielinska & David Maroto)

The Book Lovers is the name of a collaborative artistic research project carried out by David Maroto (visual artist) and Joanna Zielińska (Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, M HKA). The central question of this research is how a literary genre such as the novel becomes a medium in the visual arts, exactly as video or installation could be. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of visual artists who create novels as part of their wider art projects. They do so to address artistic issues by means of novelistic devices, favouring a sort of art predicated on process and subjectivity, introducing notions such as fiction, narrative, and imagination. In this sense, it is possible to speak of a new medium in the visual arts; yet very little is known about it.

As its cornerstone, The Book Lovers have created a collection and bibliography of artists’ novels (598 titles as of today) with the continuous support of M HKA. These are complemented with a series of exhibitions, performance programmes, publications, commissions, and pop-up bookstores. This collaboration has enabled them to engage with a host of international institutions, including Whitechapel Gallery (London); Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw); Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam); EFA Project Space (NYC); CCA Glasgow; Fabra i Coats (Barcelona); Index (Stockholm); De Appel (Amsterdam); Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw); a. o.

The Book Lovers have edited and published the anthology Artist Novels (Sternberg Press, 2015); the artist’s novel Tamam Shud (Sternberg Press, 2018); Obieg magazine no. 8, 'Art & Literature: A Mongrel's Guide' (2018), as well as the recent double-volume book The Artist’s Novel: The Novel as a Medium in the Visual Arts (Mousse Publishing).

  • Piotr Rypson

Dr Piotr Rypson is a Curator, historian of literature and visual culture, museum expert. Associate Professor at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology (New Media Department); curator at the Jewish Historical institute in Warsaw.

PhD in literary studies (2002), MA in Nubian Studies (1982). Former Deputy Director and then Acting Director at the National Museum in Warsaw (2011-2018). Curator of numerous exhibitions of contemporary art, design history, artists’ books and visual literature, etc. Author of 11 books and over 200 articles on art, information architecture, visual communication and literature.

Piotr Rypson has recently curated an exhibition on 100th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence (National Museum) and an exhibition on liminal experiences in the Warsaw ghetto. He is currently working on the first presentation of the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto in Germany (Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism) in 2022.

For some publications see:

Thursday 31 March 2022, 17:00 hrs CEST.

Duration: 1h and 30 minutes (45 minutes of presentations followed by another 45 minutes of Q&A).

Rapid Response Webinars are free of cost for CIMAM members.

Non-Members can attend paying 10,00€ that will be deducted from their membership fee if they join CIMAM in the next 3 months.

→ The preferred payment method is PayPal invitations (with a credit card) which consist of receiving a link to easily pay without having a PayPal account.

This session will be recorded and posted at CIMAM’s Only Members section. We may use still images of the recording for CIMAM’s promotional purposes. If you’d rather not appear on that snapshot, please let us know in advance.

About CIMAM’s Rapid Response Webinars

Started in 2020, CIMAM has taken the new virtual scenario as an opportunity to launch a series of online activities exclusively for our community to, now more than ever, reinforce the sense of connectivity through online meetings in a peer to peer environment to share, learn, and be inspired by the experiences of other CIMAM professionals.

For 2022, we have prepared a series of online sessions that will take place, nearly every month of the year. The next ones are:

  • Thursday 26 May 2022: Museums and Well-being
  • Thursday 30 June 2022: Three views of digital transformation. Webinar proposed and designed by CIMAM member José-Carlos Mariategui.
  • Thursday 5 July 2022: Commemorative webinar for the 60th anniversary of CIMAM's birth.

More webinars are to be announced soon.