Tetiana Zhmurko

Zhmurko, Tetiana.jpg
Tetiana Zhmurko, Senior Scientific Researcher for Department of Modern Art, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

A total of 24 modern and contemporary art museum professionals residing in 19 different cities have been awarded support to attend the CIMAM 2019 Annual Conference The 21st Century Art Museum: Is Context Everything? that will be held in Sydney, Australia 15–17 November 2019 hosted jointly by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Launched in 2005, CIMAM’s Travel Grant Program is designed to foster cooperation and cultural exchange between contemporary art curators and museums directors in emerging and developing economies and their counterparts in other regions of the world.

Tetiana Zhmurko's Conference Report

CIMAM 2019 Annual Conference’s theme The 21st Century Art Museum: Is Context Everything? covers important issues that determine the existence of a modern-day museum and shape its artistic strategy. These issues include: working with country’s or nation’s traumatic history, re-thinking controversial historical events and, at the same time, looking into the future and reacting to urgent challenges of our rapidly changing world (i.e. environmental issues, migration-related issues, etc.)

The conference’s three-day program included a number of impressive presentations. Along with other great keynote speeches, I found Sally Tallant’s presentation Outside In : Inside Out especially interesting from the practical point of view. Sally shares her experience in working with local communities, attracting visitors to a museum and turning it into an open, inclusive and empathic space. Also, I was very much impressed by Lara Strongman’s speech covering the events of the devastating New Zealand earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and how the museum team left the building and organized temporary exhibition spaces all over the devastated city.

I found it very useful to participate in the networking session and the Populism and Censorship workshop and discuss the problematics of the popularization of modern museums. In particular, what are the ways to attract wider audiences to the museum and, at the same time, avoid populistic slogans and strategies.

I have never participated in CIMAM Annual Conference before and found these three days extremely informative and productive. For me, it was an unforgettable experience and a great opportunity — kindly granted to me by the Getty Foundation — to get familiar with the city of Sydney, its art institutions, and meet colleagues with different experiences and backgrounds.