Muzeum Institute


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Muzeum, zavod za umetniško produkcijo, posredovanje in založništvo
Breg 8, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 422 0290
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Moderna galerija 2003 The Shirt of Saint Francis Photo Igor Anjelic.jpgTalking House - Theory Open I - The Shirt of Saint Francis installation by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc at Museum of Modern Art, 2003

Established in 1995, the Muzeum Institute is a non-for-profit institution for art production, mediation, and publishing. The organisation developed out of Muzeum Theatre (1993), a conceptual theatre company under the direction of Barbara Novakovič Kolenc; theatre production remains the core of the organisation's activities. Muzeum has produced a dozen performances conceived and directed by authors coming from non-theatre fields (architecture, dance, light design, art history, visual arts) investigating theatre language anew.

Muzeum has been also involved in different visual art and multidisciplinary European projects. Muzeum was also a partner in the 3-year project ECLAP (European Collected Library of Artistic Performance) which endeavours to create a digital library of performance-related material linked to Europeana, the European Digital Library.

Theatre production

Between 1993 and 2000 Barbara Novakovič Kolenc conceived and directed five stage performances: Cricket in the Fist [Čriček v pesti], Lo Scrittore, Emilia [Emilija], The Girl and the Double Bass [Deklica in kontrabas], and Paracelsus & Frankenstein, each of them exploring individual fields of art, namely fine art, architecture, dance, music, and movement. The subsequent synthesis performance All Together Now [Vse najboljše] was staged at the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, featuring a cast of actors from an old people's home, and was presented at the Manifesta 3 in Ljubljana (2000). Barbara Novakovič Kolenc directed Racine's Berenice in the framework of the Slovene National Theatre Drama Ljubljana repertory in 2000.

Muzeum Institute 1994 Cricket in the fist Photo Egon Kase.jpgCricket in the Fist by Muzeum Theatre, staged at the VIBA Studio, St. Joseph's Church, 1994. "The image simbolizes theatrical and art historical iconography as a time machine travelling back into middle age, to the gesture of the written word." Performing: Barbara Novakovič and Ivan Peternelj

In the period 2000–2004 Muzeum produced a series of performances under the title Project 1–5, which investigated theatre language through the input of architects, dancers, theatre theoreticians, light designers or art historians, who were involved in stage direction for the first time (Matej Filipčič, Rok Oman, Primož Jesenko, Majda Gregorič Trost, Lela B. Njatin, Rok Vevar).

Barabara Novakovič Kolenc's 2006 performances Molière and the Rodin II received excellent reviews; especially Rodin II installation with performance in collaboration with the Sonček - Cerebral Palsy Association of Slovenia was presented yearslong at several festivals and venues in Slovenia and abroad. In 2007–2009 the Winter's Uncle trilogy was conceived: A Winter's Tale [Zimska pravljica], based on the play by Shakespeare, which was staged at Križanke, while in 2008 Uncle Vanya and the 12 bouquets [Striček Vanja in 12 šopkov] based on Chekhov.

Muzeum Institute 2008 Uncle Vanya & the 12 bouquets Photo Matic Sonnenwald.jpgLea Menard in Uncle Vanya and the 12 bouquets directed by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc. Produced by Muzeum Institute and staged at the Stara Elektrarna - Old Power Station and Casemate at Ljubljana Castle in 2008

The performance The Repository WUST (Winter's Uncle and Summer Tale) [FUNDUS ZS PP (Zimski striček in Poletna pravljica)], created by B. Novakovič Kolenc and Sanja Nešković Peršin (2009) featured artefacts from the City Museum of Ljubljana and selected contemporary visual art as a set (Zora Stančič, Polona Maher, Damijan Kracina, Katarina Toman Kracina, Nataša Skušek, Mladen Stropnik, Sašo Vrabič, Matic Sonnenwald and Živa Žitnik). In performance tourings, artefacts were site specific – in 2010 the performance was presented at KiBela Art Space in Maribor and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Novi Sad.

Muzeum Institute 2009 The Repository WUST Photo Matic Sonnenwald.JPGThe Repository WU ST produced by Muzeum Institute, Jakopič Gallery, 2009. A dance-theatre performance with the City Museum of Ljubljana artefacts and works by contemporary authors (e.g. Polona Maher in the centre of the picture)

In 2008 Barbara Novakovič Kolenc put on stage (for the first time in Slovenia) Daniil Harms's play Elisabeth Bam [Jelizaveta Bam]. The performance was staged at Stara Elektrarna - Old Power Station where in 2010 also a dance-theatre performance Julie (after A. Strindberg) was put on stage by Sanja Nešković Peršin (with a set design by Son:DA, hosted also by BITEF Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia. 33 Turns, the next performance conceived by Sanja Nešković Peršin, was staged in Španski borci Culture Centre in 2011. Milan Tomašik's performance Off-Beat, co-produced by Muzeum, Phileas Productions, Brussels, and Dance Theatre Ljubljana, toured internationally.

Muzeum Institute 2008 Elisabeth Bam Photo Matic Sonnenwald.JPGDaniil Harms' Jelizaveta Bam, directed and performed by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc. Produced by Muzeum Institute, Stara Elektrarna - Old Power Station, 2008

Since 2010 Muzeum has been developing the ŠIFT TEATER I and the ŠIFT TEATER II platforms.

The relation between the abstraction in theatre and visual arts has been exlored in the second part of the Source Image Trilogy, The Museum of Letters, 2013 Cankarjev dom, feature the selected letters written by painters of the 18th and 19th Century.

The third part of the trilogy ŠIFT TEATER II, The Theatre of Letters, was based on the text by Pablo Picasso Desire Caught by the Tail, and staged at the Jakopič Gallery in 2014.

Muzeum Institute 2014 Picasso Desire Caught by the Tail Photo Matevz Paternoster (3).jpgPablo Picasso's Desire Caught by the Tail directed by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc, as the last part of her Source Image trilogy produced by Muzeum Institute, staged at the Jakopič Gallery, 2014. From left to right: Ivan Peternelj, Mateja Rebolj, Sanja Nešković Peršin

The premiere of the ABC oder Krieg, quasi una fantasia, directed by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc, took place in 2015. It was co-produced by Prešeren Theatre Kranj, Cankarjev dom and Opera & Theatre Madlenianum, Belgrade, and it toured to Belgrade, Montenegro and Vršac. A new drama text which was written by Ivo Svetina is set in Vienna in the 1830s when Jernej Kopitar, France Prešeren and Matija Čop were involved in the battle known as the Alphabet War, in the presence of Vuk Karadžić and his daughter Mina.

Muzeum Institute 2015 ABC oder KRIEG Photo Mare Mutic.jpgIvo Svetina's play ABC oder KRIEG, quasi una fantasia directed by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc, set in the 1830s in Vienna, a meeting place of literary personalities France Prešeren, Matija Čop, Jernej Kopitar, Vuk Karadžić. Production: Muzeum Institute, Prešeren Theatre Kranj, Cankarjev dom, and Opera & Theatre Madlenianum, Belgrade, 2015. From left to right: Vesna Pernarčič, Borut Veselko, Peter Musevski, Ivan Bakjarev, Jure Ivanušič, Aleksandra Balmazović

Ivo Svetina's The Birth of Venus premiered in November 2018 at the Kosovel Culture House Sežana, and in January 2019 at the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture.

In the period 2016-2019 the Muzeum new dance and drama productions take place: the Spinoza Project and the Dynamics of Space Trilogy. The latest MUZEUM project is Venus I/II.

In the years 2019-2021 the Sleep project evolves, including the Forms, Landscapes, Creatures solo performance (2019) and The Slumberland (2020), a dance performance for children and adults inspired by cartoon Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay.

Visual arts projects

Some Muzeum performances have been staged in gallery spaces. For example, the 2004 production Rodin (directed by Boris Mihalj) at the Museum of Modern Art and the 2010 production The Repository WUST, and the 2014 Desire Caught by the Tail directed by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc at the Jakopič Gallery. The Source Image - The Library of Letters (Shift Theatre II) project was premiered in the warehouses at Vilharjeva Street, Ljubljana, in November 2012.

The Muzeum Institute also actively engages in visual arts projects. In 2002–2003 it presented the auteur fine art projects Talking House - Theory Open I, II, III: The Shirt of Saint Francis at the Museum of Modern Art, Saint Lazarus at the City Art Gallery Ljubljana and Saint Teresa at Kapelica Gallery, all conceived by Barabara Novakovič Kolenc.

In December 2014 a documentary exhibition Time Folding – Muzeum Theatre – 20 Years was set up at the Jakopič Gallery in Ljubljana.

Muzeum Institute 2015 Time Folding Photo Matevz Paternoster (2).jpgTime Folding - Muzeum Theatre - 20 Years, an exhibition curated by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc, opened extensive document and source archives of the Muzeum Institute. Jakopič Gallery, 2015

The Architecture of Dreams installations (2020) and the dance performance "Time of Tenderness" (2021) marked the 25 years of Muzeum Theatre.

International visual and performing arts projects

Muzeum Theatre productions have been presented in Austria, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Mongolia, Croatia, Albania, Armenia, Serbia, Italy, Macedonia, Israel and Montenegro. The Museum Institute is a member of the Informal European Theatre Meeting (IETM).

Muzeum has also produced various international visual arts projects, notably Map to Paradise from Ljubljana (2000), a site-specific installation at Ljubljana Castle by Peter Greenaway, and the accompanying Peter Greenaway film retrospective.

In June 2005 the Ljubljana events within the international project The Gesture in the Cultural Heritage of Europe took place, while in Autumn 2005 the Muzeum Institute participated in the international co-curatorial and multidisciplinary project Continental Breakfast [Kontinetalni zajtrk]. The Ljubljana component of the project was entitled Memory (W)hole and comprised an international symposium, a site-specific exhibition, and art performances at Ljubljana Castle. New variants of the Memory (W)hole exhibition were subsequently presented at the Skopje Museum of Modern Art in Macedonia and at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Muzeum Institute 2005 Come, my beloved and dine with me Photo Miha Erman.jpgCome, my beloved and dine with me, installation by Alevtina Kakhidze at the Continental Breakfast in Ljubljana - Memory (W)hole exhibition, 2005

In 2007 an international exhibition entitled Paperwork was presented at the City Museum of Ljubljana.

In the period 2010–2011 the Muzeum Institute was one of co-organisers of the EU Culture supported project Focus on Art and Science in the Performing Arts: European contemporary production. In April and November 2010 the residencies and presentations of international authors were organised in Ljubljana, while Miha Erman, author of a selected Slovene production for the project Focus, participated in a residency in Italy and presented his work at Fabbrica Europa Festival in Florence, Italy. In May 2011 Muta Imago and Masque Teatro presented their recent production to Ljubljana audience within Muzeum's ŠIFT TEATER II platform.

Besides theatre and visual arts projects the Muzeum Institute has initiated and been involved in a number of international cultural policy projects (e.g. Mobile Theatre Network and MTN Loops, 1999–2001).

In 2015 and 2019 Barbara Novakovič Kolenc curated the Slovene section for the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (PQ). More details see at Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space chapter.

Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2015 Slovenia Flyer.jpgSlovene contribution at the the 13th Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (PQ curated by Barbara Novakovič Kolenc in June 2015. A flyer cover image.

Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2019 Warped Space installation 1.jpegA part of the Warped Space installation representing Slovenia at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2019: a book triptych with projected images of selected set and costume designs by Angelina Atlagić, Uroš Belantič, Mateja Bučar & Vadim Fiškin, Leo Kulaš and NUMEN. Curated by Barbara Novakovič and produced by Muzeum Institute.


Together with 20 partners comprising leading national performing arts institutions, universities and research institutes from 13 European countries, Muzeum Institute is a member of the ECLAP consortium. ECLAP is co-funded by the European Union ICT Policy Support Programme as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, Theme CIP-ICT-PSP.2009.2.2.

ECLAP aims to create a considerable, and hitherto missing, online archive for all the performing arts in Europe and to provide solutions and tools to help performing arts institutions to enter the digital Europe by building a network of important European performing arts institutions and archives and publishing content collections on Europeana. Through ECLAP portal users will not only be able to see the work of Dario Fo, Odin Teatr, and Jerzy Grotowski online, but be also able to enrich, contextualise, annotate and aggregate that content; and even distribute and access all content via different devices such as PCs, tablets and smartphones. ECLAP also intends to provide an important digital tool through the usage and exploitation of e-learning facilities.

ECLAP also organises workshops and conferences, to actively foster networking and strengthen links among the performing arts institutions throughout Europe and at an international level. ECLAP is also developing best practice guidelines which can be a model for future projects funded through the European Commission. All interested institutions and stakeholders are invited to register, to use and to be an active part of the ECLAP programme and collaboration framework.

Muzeum publishing

Since 2000 Muzeum has published the Muzeum Newsletter. Other publications have included Mobile Theatre Network Calendar 1999, Mobile Theatre Network – Strategies for Establishing Distribution Networks for Independent Performing Arts in Central and Eastern Europe (a symposium in 1999), Peter Greenaway's Book (a book of theoretical texts by Slovene authors on the work of Peter Greenaway), Peter Greenaway: Map to Paradise from Ljubljana (a book of the event documentation) and the Memory (W)hole - Continental Breakfast Ljubljana and Paperwork exhibition catalogues.

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... more about "Muzeum Institute"
Muzeum, zavod za umetniško produkcijo, posredovanje in založništvo +
SI-1000 Ljubljana +
Established in 1995, the Muzeum Institute is a non-for-profit institution for art production, mediation, and publishing. +
Established in 1995, the Muzeum Institute is a non-for-profit institution for art production, mediation, and publishing. +
Ljubljana +
SI-1000 +