Attending this year’s CIMAM Conference was a really precious experience. I was impressed by the diversity of art professionals from so many countries with different economic and cultural backgrounds. This diversity gave me the possibility to see the international museum community not as a number of scattered institutions but as a circle of colleagues and friends who due to CIMAM conference every year have this amazing opportunity for networking and sharing their ideas. I think in the situation of global uncertainty and the raise of all kinds of radicalisms this solidarity and professional communication becomes even more valuable.
As it was many times mentioned during the conference, nowadays global world faces huge political challenges which sooner or later can lead to the collapse of current cultural model. Therefore, the art community today has to be prepared to defend the values of freedom and cultural diversity. In this unique time museum should become the source of new senses and ideas, provoke dialogue and show the example of freedom in the world where this freedom is being constantly attacked from all sides. Today museums and their role within the society undergo unprecedented change. This situation, on the one hand, brings lots of melancholy to the museum discourse, but at the same time, it can be the source of endless inspiration and new approaches. As Frances Morris put it in her closing speech: “Museum is dead. Long live the museum!”.
I was very impressed by Carolyn Christof-Bakargiev’s speech and her overall charismatic personality. I think it is really great that people with such rich experience and outstanding individuality come to run the museums. Sometimes we are tempted to perceive museums and art centers merely as depersonalized and beurocratized agents of social practices. I think this lack of passion and personality is a huge challenge for the existing cultural model and that’s why the example of Carolyn Christof-Bakargiev is so inspiring for me.
I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Getty Foundation and the CIMAM Board for the possibility to attend the conference in Barcelona.