Talk with Bartomeu Marí, director of MMCA in South Korea

within the frames of Curating Institution series

  • As part of the Curating Institution series, implemented by the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, the Centre has invited Bartomeu Marí, director of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in South Korea. He is the first foreigner to take up the position of director of an exhibition institution in this country. Thus, he faced the problem of how to refer to the history of the institution existing since 1969 and how to transform its program in the era of global circulation of contemporary art. By declaring critical work on the narrative of Korean modern and contemporary art in international circulation, he proposed a solution to the unifying tendencies of globalization. During the lecture he will take up issues important for Koreans: how to effectively introduce Korean avant-garde art into international discourse? how to build a history of modern art in Korea itself? A difficult and important problem is to reconcile the tasks of shaping the institution's identity, taking into account local contexts, with building of an open program of transnational character. Can the strategies proposed by Bartomeu Marí in MMCA Korea be interpreted as an attempt to critically approach the western model of the exhibition institution?