“Museums Beyond the Crises”: 2012 CIMAM conference

Istanbul, 10 December 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The CIMAM (International Committee of ICOM — the International Council of Museums — for Museums and Collection of Modern Art) from 12 to 14 November organised its annual conference in Istanbul, titled “Museums Beyond the Crises”. Later, on 15 November, it travelled to Beyrouth, Lebanon starting a “post-conference tour”.

This year 218 delegates from 58 countries participated in the event. The conference received support from the Getty Foundation (Los Angeles), the Fundación Cisneros / Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros as well as the British Council. Likewise, Istanbul contemporary art institutions, notably Arter, Boursan Contemporary and Istanbul Modern, as well as galleries Galerist and Rampa, took part in the event.

This year, as suggested by the title, the conference regarded two major issues: the condition of the museum in times of world economical crisis as well as new forms of cultural production being developed in the Mediteranean South-East and the Gulf – conflict zones in a period of economic growth, lacking museum and archive tradition. Indeed, the CIMAM’s press release confirms that in these regions “conservation of cultural heritage is not necessarily the domain of musems”.

This conference allowed to draw a conclusion that opening this regions to cooperation with museums and other international institutions will allow the sharing of knowledge and methodology: two major factors necessary to gain recognition. The CIMAM conferences are devoted to the appreciation of art and ways of cultural production in different environments. The Comittee quotes that currently the world is facing cultural, political and economical tranformations which affects museums. New regions, having access to new methods of production, emerge on the artistic scene. Maybe next year’s conference will concern the way in which contemporary production methods affect traditional museums.