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The idea of the new museum of contemporary art in Ljubljana evolved out of the Arteast Collection 2000+. Moderna galerija has been building this collection of predominantly Eastern European art based on the traditions of the avant-gardes since 1995. Since 2001 many international tours and loans of individual works of the Arteast Collection 2000+ have been organised, sending the artworks to exhibitions around Europe or to the USA (New York, Pittsburgh).
In April 2002 the director of Moderna galerija, Zdenka Badovinac, and the curator Igor Zabel conceived the mo(nu)ment Museum of Contemporary Art - Metelkova 22 programme. The initiative was articulated in the Resolution on the National Programme for Culture for 2004–2007 where it was stated that the renovated building at Metelkova 22 would serve as an exhibition space for contemporary visual art, managed by the Moderna galerija.
Until November 2011 when the museum opened, a line of Arteast Exhibitions and some public talks were organised to promote the idea of the collection and the new museum in Ljubljana.
International collection of the gallery is comprised of art works from the 1990s: Miroslaw Balka, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Cristina Iglesias, Anish Kapoor, Ulf Rollof, and others. The third line of the Moderna galerija international collection contains 136 works of 20th-century artists from the territories of former Yugoslavia, including important works by artists such as Jovan Bijelić, Dušan Džamonja, Oton Gliha, Ljubo Ivančić, Frano Kršinić, Petar Lubarda, Nikola Martinoski, Ivan Meštrović, Pedja Milosavljević, Miroslav Šutej, and Vladimir Veličković.
Moderna galerija houses the national collection of 20th century Slovene art (paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings as well as photography, video and electronic media collections).
In 2010 Moderna galerija received the entire e-flux video rental (EVR) collection as a donation. EVR is a project by Anton Vidokle and Julieta Aranda, comprised of a video rental store, a public screening room, and a film and video archive with over 1000 works by 500 international artists. The works in the collection have been selected since 2004 by over 100 curators from all over the world.
L'Internationale is a confederation of seven major European modern and contemporary art institutions and partners. L'Internationale proposes a space for art within a non-hierarchical and decentralised internationalism, based on the values of difference and horizontal exchange among a constellation of cultural agents, locally rooted and globally connected. L’internationale works in collaboration with partners such as Valand Academy (VA, Göteborg, Sweden), and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD, Dublin, Ireland), along with associate organizations from the academic and artistic fields.
New Mappings of Europe is a two-year collaborative project of four different art and cultural institutions from Serbia, Slovenia, Austria and the United Kingdom, which will generate knowledge about the migrants' cultural heritage in Europe and make cultural and art institutions more accessible to local communities of migrants of the first and second generations as well as to the new communities of asylum seekers and refugees.
The project will consist of co-curated exhibitions, accompanied by a rich public mediation programme, artist residencies, a common web platform, and an international conference. The aim of the project is twofold: on the one hand to deal with past phenomena related to migrations, and on the other, to link these phenomena to current migrations.