Inke Arns on Tue, 20 Jun 2000 20:02:28 +0200

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Syndicate: MSE-projects @ SKUC, Ljubljana, starting SOON

?kuc Gallery, Stari trg 21, 1
1000 Ljubljana, phone/fax.: +386 1 251 65 40

Why MSE-projects?

In the period when Manifesta 3 will take place in Ljubljana, the ?kuc
Gallery will present a consecutive project, entitled MSE-projects
(Middle-South-East Projects). MSE-projects is an initiative which supports
exchange and co-operation between the ?kuc Gallery and partners from
Budapest (Barnabás Bencsik, Trafó Galéria, and János Szoboszlai, Institute
of Contemporary Art ? Dunaújváros), Graz (Margarethe Makovec & Anton
Lederer, <rotor> association for contemporary art Graz), Sarajevo (Lejla
Hodzic, Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts ? Sarajevo), Zagreb (Ana Devic &
Nata?a Ilic, curator duo) and Bologna (Gino Gianuizzi, Galleria Neon). 

MSE-projects include:

- MSE-meetings (the first took place in Ljubljana from 25 to 27 February
2000), which are intended for exchange of information and experiences.

- MSE-events, lectures and debates in which the partners and their guests
will introduce themselves and present their activities, infrastructure,
cultural policy, social context and other initiatives in the partner cities
or regional centres. They will take place from 23 to 25 June 2000.

- MSE-exhibitions, which will be prepared by our partners. These are not
only reflections of the art scenes of individual cities, but represent the
exhibition guidelines in the respective art spaces and the concepts of
artists, or curators. The exhibitions will take place from June to October
2000, and will continue also in the year 2001. 

Each of these centres represents its ?Midst"; they source from their own
self-understanding and self-image, while from the Ljubljana geographical
standpoint they represent the Southern and Eastern art scenes from the

With this project, the ?kuc Gallery wishes to establish a platform for
self-representation of mainly long-term partners from the surrounding
regions. The additional goal of the project is to form a basis for
discussion and co-operation, which would encourage a better flow of
information and a wider exchange in exhibition practise and theory. 

The current ?cultural exchange" between Ljubljana and the surrounding art
centres is still very limited, and therefore MSE-projects represents an
initiative for expansion in this field also beyond the circle of
MSE-partners. Besides, MSE-projects also aims to provide a basis for the
exchange between individuals and art spaces in the region even after the
conclusion of MSE-projects. We believe that ?MSE-region" ? which is
culturally and artistically very heterogeneous, with very different
infrastructures and cultural conditions ? has certain advantages, maybe in
the form of the possibility for a more critical and reflective
understanding of art (or models of representation) and the given society.
In this sense, ?MSE-region" is meant as a dynamic and centrifugal ?mental
region" incessantly (re)moving and altering its boundaries and centres.

To sum up, at the first glance it seems as if we were left with just a
couple of sounding words on network co-operation, which could be a perfect
fit for the ?associating" spirit of numerous European foundations and
organisations. And some people may view MSE-projects as a slightly
distorted Ljubljana initiative for the ?stability pact" in the South-East.

First, the nature of MSE-projects is pragmatic. It uses the given
?opportunity", it takes advantage of, and enrich, such a ?large" event as
is Manifesta 3. During Manifesta 3, MSE-projects provides for a greater
notability of the ?peripheral art" and enables ? even if only in the light
of the short-term ?event culture" ? a direct contact between MSE-partners
and the international audience. 

Manifesta 3 proclaimed networking as an important basis of its operation
(especially on the local and regional levels), while MSE-projects speaks
about the fact that regional networks based on ?cautious", informal and
long-term co-operation, already exist in the field of contemporary art ?
the connections should only be strengthened.

Second, MSE-projects aims to draw attention to possible (regional)
developments of the contemporary art system, which currently can only be
partly matched by individual media and small-size centres. These are often
burdened with various concepts of ?national culture" and with the lack of
expert staff that could ensure competitive and more research-oriented
working relations. This most certainly holds true for the small town of
Ljubljana, where the size itself dictates the expansion towards outside.  

Gregor Podnar,
?kuc Gallery

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