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L'Internationale: A new European museum confederation takes shape with 2.5 million euro award
Map with partners of L'Internationale.

EINDHOVEN.- The European Union has awarded 2.5 million euros to the confederation L’Internationale for a five-year programme leading to a long-term, sustainable new model for public museums in Europe. This grant confirms the value and significance of the L’Internationale network within the museum field. It will facilitate its development as a new form of cultural confederation where collections, artistic research, technology and public access can be shared across member institutions.

L’Internationale received the EU grant for the programme The Uses of Art – The Legacy of 1848 and 1989 (UoA), a dense programme of exhibitions, symposia, publications, magazines, an online forum, an education platform and staff exchange. UoA concludes in 2017 with simultaneous exhibitions and events activated across Europe.

By selecting two key moments in history, 1848 and 1989, UoA connects to a radical and transnational European history of citizen resistance and creative response to power. In both historic revolutions, issues of access to the world and its cultures were of fundamental importance to the new forms of citizenship being demanded. The five-year L’Internationale programme will revisit these moments and their legacy with a particular focus on the decade of the 1980s to evaluate the present and ensure new forms of transnational mobility for physical and intellectual history based on public access, inclusion and co-creation.

UoA launches in 2013 with an exhibition organised by Reina Sofía that imagines a new perspective for art history based on the development of civil society through the lens of the socio-political transformations that took place both in Spain and the world in the 1980s. Later in the year L’Internationale will present itself with a global summit, organised by Reina Sofía and Moderna Galerija. End 2013, the exhibition Museum of Arte Útil will open in the Van Abbemuseum.

L’Internationale proposes a space for art within a nonhierarchical and decentralised internationalism, based on the value of difference and horizontal exchange among a constellation of cultural agents, locally rooted and globally connected. Comprising six major European museums, Moderna Galerija (MG, Ljubljana, Slovenia); Museo nacional centro de arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS, Madrid, Spain); Museu d’art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA, Barcelona, Spain); Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium); SALT (Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey) and Van Abbemuseum (VAM, Eindhoven, the Netherlands), L’Internationale is supported by complementary partner and associate organisations from the academic and artistic fields.

The UoA programme is coordinated by the Van Abbemuseum. Charles Esche, director of the Van Abbemuseum reacts: “We are excited that the European Union has honoured this daring project with such generous support. Within a world that seems more and more committed to building walls instead of bridges, it is a relief to find that there are still forces at work that emphasise solidarity. Reaching far beyond the frame of the recent sector advice of the Dutch Art Council, L’Internationale introduces a profound form of international collaboration between museums and associated institutes. They can now work together to offer a broad public a more concentrated and comprehensible public platform to exercise cultural citizenship, locally, nationally, but most of all internationally.”

Partners of L’Internationale
Partners who have expertise and facilities necessary to realise the ambitions of UoA are Grizedale Arts (Cumbria, UK); Liverpool John Moores University (Liverpool, UK); KASK School of Arts University College Ghent (Ghent, Belgium), and Universität Hildesheim (Hildesheim, Germany). The project is embedded in an even broader network of associate partners who will collaborate with the core UoA team at appropriate moments. These include Juliús Koller Society (Bratislava, Slovakia); Afterall Journal and Books (London, UK); Kwiekulik Archive (Warsaw, Poland); Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK).

The art magazine A Prior will become fully dedicated to the project UoA with an online forum and an annual print edition.

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April 20, 2013

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