International conference: Curating the Contemporary in the Art Museum

The conference has been postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis. More information to come.

The idea of the art museum has undergone radical changes after 1945, expressed in a whole array of new ways to stage its space, curate its exhibitions, and interact with its audiences. These developments generally orient the museum and its practices towards the contemporary in all its plural meanings.

Installation Photo from the exhibition Danh Vo –Take My Breath Away, 2018. Photo: SMK.
Installation Photo from the exhibition Danh Vo –Take My Breath Away, 2018. Photo: SMK.

The aim of this conference is to investigate the museum of art as a place, where the contemporary is staged in exhibitions, collecting practices, communication, and policies. How did the interplay between the museum and the curated thematic exhibition evolve? Which models for rethinking the museum in relation to the contemporary has been proposed? How has the museum been reimagined as a new kind of Bildung institution? How do national galleries rethink themselves in new national, international and/or global ways to (re)present the contemporary?

The conference will focus on the period after 1945: how did the museum of art gain a new position in the societies settling after WW2 and what developments can be recognized, and, potentially shed a new light on art history and art’s significance today? The focus is international to spur an exchange of different perspectives and highlight exchanges and circulations as key factors in the curating of the contemporary.

The conference is organized by the research project Curating the Contemporary.

Keynote speakers

  • Beatrice von Bismarck
  • Kim West
  • Jonas Ekeberg
  • Karen Archey
  • Malene Vest Hansen





















The conference fee is 450 DKK (60 EUR) for two days conference including lunch, coffee breaks and closing reception. 

Register for the conference.

For further inquiries, please contact: Kristian Handberg,

Conference committee

Malene Vest Hansen (Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen), Kristian Handberg (Postdoc, University of Copenhagen) and Camilla Jalving (Deputy Director of Collections, Research and Conservation, SMK National Gallery of Denmark).

The conference is part of the research project Curating the Contemporary.