While the exhibition of works from the national collection at Moderna galerija/ Museum of Modern Art ends with 1991, i.e. the year Slovenia gained independence, the display at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM) includes works dating back to the 1960s. Contemporaneity has two beginnings: a conceptual one in the 1960s, when most of the aesthetic concepts artists are interested in today were shaped; and a chronological one in the beginning of the 1990s, when the new era began, marked by the fall of Eastern European communist regimes, the collapse of Yugoslavia and several other multinational states, rapid globalization, and the increasingly widespread use of digital technology. The concept of contemporaneity and the related concentration of specific artistic interests thus cannot be treated only chronologically. For this reason the exhibition of the collection at the MSUM problematizes time and focuses on its liberating potential.
The present is not necessarily the same as contemporaneity. Giorgio Agamben argues that to be contemporary means to be inattuale ? irrelevant or not suited to the time: "Those who are truly contemporary, who truly belong to their time, are those who neither perfectly coincide with it nor adjust themselves to its demands. They are thus in this sense irrelevant [inattuale]. But precisely because of this condition, precisely through this rejection and this anachronism, they are more capable than others of perceiving and grasping their own time." Contemporaneity, as understood in these terms, is called presence; this means an active relationship towards one's own time. Meanwhile, here the current chronological period is called as the present, that is to say, the period in which we are living. Contemporary art must be described as belonging at one and the same time both to the present and to presence.
The 20th Century. Continuities and Ruptures exhibition breaks with traditional linearity by introducing the topics of the 20th century avant-gardes and of the art of the Partisan...
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