“Wir, die Museen, stehen nicht außerhalb der Politik, aber darüber”

Foto: http://topdialog.ru/2013/12/05/yuliya-kantor-za-god-kultury-k-etoj-sfere-budet-privlecheno-bolshe-vnimaniya/

Foto: http://topdialog.ru/2013/12/05/yuliya-kantor-za-god-kultury-k-etoj-sfere-budet-privlecheno-bolshe-vnimaniya/

Prof. Dr. Julja Kantor, Historikerin, Journalistin und Beraterin von Michail Piotroskij, Direktor der Staatlichen Ermitage in St. Petersburg, hielt auf der Konferenz in der Sektion 3 „Museums and ‚Hard History‘“ einen Vortrag zum Thema “The paradigm  ‚The historical truth – historical memory – historical policy‘ in Russia. Museum aspect“. Zwei Tage nach der Konferenz habe ich mit ihr über die gesamte Konferenz gesprochen.

Welches waren Ihre stärksten Eindrücke?

Als stärkster Eindruck bleibt zunächst mal die Tatsache, dass die Konferenz überhaupt stattgefunden hat und dass die Vertreter der drei ICOM-Komitees zusammen gekommen sind. Weiterhin hat mich die professionelle und konstruktive Atmosphäre beeindruckt, was ja vor dem Hintergrund der aktuell schwierigen internationalen Situation nicht selbstverständlich ist. Dabei gab es weder das Bestreben,  die schwierigen Themen  unter den Teppich zu kehren, noch bewusste Provokationen oder auch übertriebene politische Korrektheit. Das freut mich sowohl als Historikerin als auch als Museumsmitarbeiterin. Die  ICOM-Vertreter und Mitglieder haben eine gemeinsame Sprache gefunden. Continue reading

Industrial History in the Urals

ural_biennale
One afternoon session in Yekaterinburg was devoted to ways of interpreting and promoting industrial history, particularly of this region. This is a rich aspect of this region and presenters, all from Russia, shared both their innovative approaches and the challenges they face.

Contemporary art as a tool of regeneration of industrial areas was discussed by Alisa Prudnikova, Director, NCCA-Ural. Industrial biennale in Yekaterinburg. Biennales are are art world staple, attracting great attention, but this Biennale takes a unique approach, where artists from around the world focus on industry; using materials and processes as inspiration.  Ivan Grinko, Head of Museum, Design Laboratory, Heritage Institute also used design and creativity as a framework for his presentation, which explored the ways in which museums use maps, both on the territory and in the museum itself.

Continue reading

Im Ural!

Foto: http://de.dreamstime.com/stockfoto-demidovs-geneigter-kontrollturm-image16652890

Foto: http://de.dreamstime.com/stockfoto-demidovs-geneigter-kontrollturm-image16652890

Nach dem ersten erfolgreichen und angefüllten Konferenztag in Jekaterinburg ging es heute noch tiefer in die russischen Weiten. In zwei Gruppen  machten sich die Teilnehmer auf, um ihre Sektionen vom Vortag in Nizhnyj Tagil und in Irbit fortzusetzen  und dies mit der Besichtigung der Museen vor Ort zu verbinden. Die Abfahrt war für 8.00 Uhr angesetzt und uns allen war wohl eine gewisse Erschöpfung anzumerken. Unsere Gruppe machte sich auf den Weg nach Norden in Richtung Tagil. Während der einstündigen Fahrt erhielten wir weitere Informationen über die Stadt und die Region und genossen einen zunehmend bezaubernden Ausblick in die Natur und ihre unendlichen Weiten, die meisten allerdings nutzten diese kurze Konferenzpause für einen Power Nap. Continue reading

Impressionen von der Manifesta

manifesta2Im Rahmen der Tagung hatten wir das, wie ich finde, große Glück, auch die Manifest zu besuchen, die Ausstellung internationaler zeitgenössischer Kunst in der Ermitage, zu der es im Vorfeld und auch jetzt noch immer wieder so heftige Diskussionen gegeben hat. Während die „westliche Welt“ Bedenken äußerte, eine solche Ausstellung überhaupt in Russland und dann auch noch vor dem Hintergrund der Ukraine-Krise zu zeigen, gab es auf russischer Seite viele Stimmen, die der hierzulande weiterverbreitenden Meinung Ausdruck verliehen, „solche“ Kunst und „westliche Dekadenz“ brauche man hier nicht und schon gar nicht in einem der traditionsreichsten Museen des Landes.

Einen Eindruck von diesen russischen Sorgen habe ich im Rahmen einer Führung mit einer der russischen Gruppen erfahren. Continue reading

Международное сотрудничество в контексте национальной и региональной культурной политики: опыт и перспективы (Россия и Германия)

o-COMMUNICATION-SKILLS-facebookAnother abstract, this time in Russian, from German and Russian colleagues about bi-national collaborations.

В контексте сотрудничества в области культуры России и Германии, взаимного интереса органов управления культурой Федеральной земли Бавария, Рязанской области и Республики Хакасия, музейные профессионалы Земельной службы негосударственных музеев Баварии и Сектора музейной энциклопедии Российского института культурологии (далее РИК) инициировали ряд музейных проектов. Такой опыт сотрудничества координирующих центров в области музейного дела на фоне культурной политики конкретных регионов, позволяет выстраивать многоканальную коммуникацию на разных уровнях, выявлять актуальные проблемы музейного дела региона и находить формы взаимодействия (выставки, конференции, семинары), отвечающие специфике разных сегментов профессионального музейного сообщества в целях развития региональных музеев. Continue reading

Мягкая сила музыкальной культуры России – The Soft power of Russian culture of music

Foto: http://www.glinka.museum/about/

Foto: http://www.glinka.museum/about/

Michail Bryzgalov, director of the State Glinka Museum in Moscow, will present a session at the conference exploring what museums of musician culture and politics have in common. Since politicians are using increasingly „soft power“ – culture, political ideology and foreign affairs – as means for reaching political aims, museums also can benefit from this concept as the author will demonstrate by presenting projects and concrete examples out of the Russian museum association for music culture.

Термин «мягкая сила» введенный американским политологом Джозефов Найем в 80-е годы прошлого столетия сравнительно недавно стал применяться в качестве главенствующих теорий во внешней политике и дипломатии Российской Федерации, потеснив методы военных и экономических мощностей, а именно «жесткой силы»: “Продолжаем активную целенаправленную работу по совершенствованию и модернизации инструментария внешней политики для более эффективного использования современных средств реализации внешнеполитических приоритетов, включая экономическую дипломатию, задействование возможностей «мягкой силы», информационное сопровождение международной деятельности” – из выступления Министра иностранных дел России С.В.Лаврова в рамках «правительственного часа» в Совете Федерации Федерального Собрания Российской Федерации, Москва, 18 декабря 2013 года.

Как мы видим, все чаще российская политика и дипломатия использует «мягкую силу» для достижения желаемых результатов. По теории Дж. Ная данный термин характеризуется тремя основными компонентами: культурой, политической идеологией и внешней политикой. И недаром такое понятие как «культура» стоит на первом месте. Continue reading

Drawing a Blank – Ukraine’s Maidan Protests and Manifesta

Foto: http://www.dw.de/manifesta-10-kunst-in-der-konfrontation/a-17743699

Foto: http://www.dw.de/manifesta-10-kunst-in-der-konfrontation/a-17743699

The European art biennial Manifesta is hosted by St. Petersburg this year. Until the 31st of October the Hermitage presents works of international contemporary artists, curated by Kaspar König. His choice of this year’s place had been strongly criticized and the beginning of the Ukraine crisis has continued to aggravate this debate.The American artist Sean Snyder and the Ukrainian cultural scientist and professor of Cultural Studies at the national University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Olga Bryukhovetska, reflect on the Manifesta and the power of contemporary art in the light of the Kiever Majdan protests. The text was published first in the magazine of contemporary art and culture „frieze“ no 164 (June, July, August, 2014).

‘It is by refusing to turn Russian money into cultural capital that we can get the point across that Putin’s policies are beyond the pale,’ wrote Jonathan Jones in a Guardian blog entry entitled ‘Let’s Hit Putin where It Hurts – All Artists Must Boycott Russia’, posted in early April. In fact, by that point, discussions around a boycott of the Kasper König-curated Manifesta 10 – slated to take place in Saint Petersburg from 28 June to 31 October – had been ongoing for several months, initially prompted by the Russian authorities’ oppression of dissidents and lgbt rights activists, and subsequently fuelled by events in Ukraine, with Russia punishing the country for the democratic victory gained during the recent Maidan protests in Kyiv. While the Polish artist Paweł Althamer, the Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi and the Saint Petersburg-based collective Chto Delat? have already declined to participate, the evolving situation in Ukraine compels everyone involved in Manifesta 10 to take a stance on whether or not to collaborate with Russia’s rich and powerful.

The word maidan – square – has come to define a revolutionary, self-organized people defending their rights. Since 1989, when students demanding Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union occupied Maidan, major protests have always taken place here. In a bid to inhibit mass protest, the square’s lavish open spaces – typical of late-Soviet design – were remodelled in the early 2000s: kitschy sculptures were installed and glass domes rose up from the new underground shopping mall, impeding movement. These precautionary measures failed dramatically, however, when allegations that the election of the country’s Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych, had been corrupt resulted in the Orange Revolution of November 2004.

The latest Maidan protests, which began on 21 November 2013, saw the site reconfigured as a stronghold for protesters, who occupied the square with tents and tyre barricades. Art was a significant presence from the outset, with students from the nearby Kyiv Conservatory carrying a piano into the square and playing Chopin for the crowd despite freezing temperatures. The protestors, a number of whom were artists, designed posters, painted helmets and graffitied slogans around the square. Continue reading

Museums as ambassadors and political players? Impulses for German-Russian relations

This blog has already provided many important and interesting suggestions for my conference talk. Thanks to all colleagues for their comments to my contribution on German Russian museum relations. However, also many other contributions and comments have inspired me. Today I will share my theses and again I am looking forward to further impulses.

UnsereRussen

Exhibition “Our Russians – our Germans”, 2007 Berlin

German-Russian relations are not at their best. Recently, the crisis in Ukraine, tightened controls of the political foundations, and continuous discussions about the development of the civil society and the human rights situation in Russia have been straining the [mutual] relationship. Even the otherwise always prospering business community complains about decreasing turnovers and in the cultural sector rifts are clearly visible despite claims to the opposite by the German state-minister for cultural affairs.

History shows that such periods of estrangement have repeatedly occurred in the past in spite of a generally good relationship. The low point of course was the catastrophe of German policy of extermination in East Europe during the Second World War. This tragic period is documented by the German-Russian museum in Berlin-Karlshorst. It is, besides the Allied Museum, a unique institution of international museum cooperation in Germany. The importance attributed to the German-Russian relationship by the German Federal Government is shown by the fact that it is one of the very few museums fully financed by the Federal Government. Continue reading

Museums of Ekaterinburg Factories

View over the Iset river in Yekaterinburg, Russia by andrijbulba

View over the Iset river in Yekaterinburg, Russia by andrijbulba

Ekaterinburg is the fourth-largest city in Russia in the middle of the Eurasian continent, and the main industrial and cultural center of the broader region. At the conference, Denis Vladimirovich Ilichev from the Ural Federal University is looking at the high number of industrial museums, being more active than others in their community work but at the same time facing a number of challenges. Here is what he will present:

The main aim of the lecture is the survey of museums of industrial plants in Ekaterinburg, estimation of their effectiveness as thematic units and their benefit for the plants. Generally, a group of corporate plant museums as the units of private enterprises, which are stock companies, is the most active group contacting with museum community. An enterprise interested in the creation of favorable image and widening marketing contacts, a priori has to develop its own museums as part of PR-company. A short history of evolution of plant museums, their today’s image and concerns, is considered based on the example of several plant museums. They are facing the following possibilities: influences on changing social-economic situation in a city district (UralChemMach factory); successful incorporation of the museum into PR strategy and  management of the plant (museum of Plant named after Kalinin, museum of UralMach plant). Continue reading

Museum model transformation: monocentric to polycentric – Трансформация модели музея: от моноцентрической к полицентрической

We should deal with the museum as a „polycentric institution“, not only with special fields of museum work. This is the main thesis of Anatolij A. Budko, director of the Russian Museum of Military Medicine in St. Petersburg, our conference city. He will be a conference speaker, today he shares his thoughts about a more global approach to museums with us. How can we analyze the museum with its social functions in changing societies as a whole?   How can we identify specific Russian characteristics that might have universal application?

KMM

Russian Museum of Military Medicine in St. Petersburg

Concept approaches towards museum activity in use till nowadays have interpreted not a museum but only separate elements or the reasons of its existence, which are used by different not even related to each other fields of science and cultural practice. While analyzing a museum as a cultural phenomenon attention has been focused on one or several aspects of admitted importance.

This approach in its essence is an overweighted one and forms a monocentric museum model that does not allow viewing a phenomenon of a modern museum with all its changing social functions. As a result the crisis of museums as a social institution is being talked about. In the cultural sphere museums tend to be reserve and self-sufficient that prevents them from the necessary adaptation to the changing conditions of the “one time” world. Continue reading

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