The Uses of Art

The European Union has awarded 2.5 million euros to the confederation L’Internationale for a five-year program 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 and 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 program The Uses of Art – The Legacy of 1848 and 1989 (UoA), a dense program 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 program 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 organized 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, organized by Reina Sofía and Moderna Galerija.

L’Internationale proposes a space for art within a non-hierarchical and decentralized 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 organizations from the academic and artistic fields.

Partners of L’Internationale
Partners who have expertise and facilities necessary to realize the ambitions of UoA are Grizedale Arts (Cumbria, UK); Liverpool John Moores University (Liverpool, UK); University College Ghent School of Arts (KASK & Royal Conservatory, 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.