Beyond the conventional usage of the language in contemporary art.

The Glossary of Common Knowledge (GCK) is a compilation of art terminology that differs substantially from what is found in the existing literature on art. First, it was a five-year research project by Moderna galerija (MG+MSUM) in the frame of L’Internationale confederation, continued by a four-year research project conducted by the same confederation. In collaboration with institutions and individuals from Europe and other parts of the world, over 100 contributors/narrators proposed terms relating to their own practices and contexts, to historical references, political or social situations or L’Internationale projects. The terms were discussed and defined on six referential fields (Historicisation, Subjectivisation, Geopolitics I, Geopolitics IIConstituencies, Commons, and Other Institutionality). The first volume of terms was published in a book in 2018 and the second volume is planed to be published in 2022. The book follows these referential fields in six chapters. 


Narrators created a plurality of voices and narratives which examine the proposed terms and add their different viewpoints, bringing with them overlooked, suppressed knowledge and also non-Western categories of thought and memories. This method enabled different ways of participation, sharing and using the knowledge and working together trans-globally.


The first volume of the Glossary of Common Knowledge published in 2018 contains 86 terms proposed by 66 contributors: Nick Aikens, Azra Akšamija, Burak Arıkan, Marwa Arsanios, Zdenka Badovinac, Sezgin Boynik, Boris Buden, Zoe Butt, John Byrne, Jesús Carrillo, Colin Chinnery, Keti Chukhrov, Anyely Marín Cisneros, Rebecca Close, Lia Colombino, Bart De Baere, Carlos Prieto del Campo, Marta Malo de Molina, Ekaterina Degot, Galit Eilat, Róza El-Hassan, Patrick D. Flores, Kate Fowle, Cristina Freire, Anthony Gardner, Chema González, Alenka Gregorič, Dušan Grlja, Khwezi Gule, Aigul Hakimova, Vít Havránek, Beatriz Herráez, Ida Hiršenfelder, Marianna Hovhannisyan, Manray Hsu, Marko Jenko, Anej Korsika, Vasıf Kortun, Anders Kreuger, Lisette Lagnado, Thomas Lange, Miguel A. López, Manos Invisibles, Sohrab Mohebbi, Gabi Ngcobo, Miglena Nikolchina, Ahmet Öğüt, Meriç Öner, November Paynter, Alexei Penzin, Jabulani Chen Pereira, Bojana Piškur, Paul B. Preciado, Tzortzis Rallis, pantxo ramas, Suely Rolnik, Rasha Salti, Raúl Sánchez Cedillo, Aida Sánchez de Serdio Martín, Ania Szremski, Igor Španjol, Mabel Tapia, Francisco Godoy Vega, Jelena Vesić, Stephen Wright, Darij Zadnikar, Adela Železnik


Glossary of Common Knowledge was curated by Zdenka Badovinac Bojana Piškur and Jesús Carrillo. The book edited by Ida Hiršenfelder, and published by Moderna galerija. ISBN 978-961-206-132-6



The second volume of the Glossary of Common Knowledge, Vol. 2, published in 2022 contains 57 terms proposed by 51 contributors: Zdenka Badovinac, María Berríos, Miha Blažič (N’toko), Sara Buraya Boned, Jesús Carrillo, Sebastian Cichocki, Fatma Çolakoğlu, Nicolás Cuello, Jakub Depczyński, Kike España, Pauliina Feodoroff, Maddalena Fragnito, Elisa Fuenzalida, Nancy Garín Guzmán, Deniz Gül, Jennifer Hayashida, Ida Hiršenfelder, Alistair Hudson, Maria Iñigo Clavo, Goran Injac, Vladan Joler, Yuji Kawasima, Gal Kirn, Ram Krishna Ranjan, Vali Mahlouji, Sophie Mak-Schram, Javiera Manzi A., Diego Marchante “Genderhacker”, Pablo Martínez, Miran Mohar, Meriç Öner, Bojana Piškur, Theo Prodromidis, Tjaša Pureber, Rasha Salti, Anja Isabel Schneider, Natalia Sielewicz, Antoine Silvestre, Maja Smrekar, Jonas Staal, Bogna Stefańska, Kuba Szreder, Steven ten Thije, Abhijan Toto, Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca, Chương-Đài Võ, Mick Wilson, Onur Yıldız, Joanna Zielińska, Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide, Joanna Zielińska


Glossary of Common Knowledge, Vol. 2 was curated by Zdenka Badovinac, Ida HiršenfelderBojana Piškur and Jesús Carrillo. The book edited by Ida Hiršenfelder, and published by Moderna galerija. ISBN 978-961-206-153-1

Who is speaking?

L’Internationale narrator is one person for each of the L’Internationale partners, who does not necessarily have to be from the institution itself. L’Internationale partners can also delegate external collaborators (for example, a philosopher, art historian, sociologist, etc. that the institution has been closely associated with) at their discretion. Institutions can delegate different people for each seminar or change the delegates during the GCK research period. The narrators is asked to:

1. choose a term that is relevant in the context of their respective institution;

2. provide a definition of that term resulting from discussions within their institution;

3. participate in a seminar on which the terms are collectively edited with other narrators without losing the plurality of voices;

4. work on the post-production (post-editing) of the term. After the seminar a longer research text on the term is published on this website.


Global family narrators are international curators, academics, and theoreticians invited by GCK curators to join the project in addition to L’Internationale narrators. Ideally, these narrators are from an already existing networks or formal or informal groups or collectives but they can also be representatives of some other organisation or individuals presenting their own positions. The global family narrators are asked to:

1. choose a term that is relevant for their group / network, organisation, context or individual position;

2. provide a definition of the term resulting from a collective discussion if the narrator represents a group/network, organisation;

3. participate in a seminar on which the terms are collectively edited with other narrators without losing the plurality of voices;

4. work in the postproduction (post-editing) of the term. After the seminar a longer research text on the term is published on this website.

GCK associative terms and visual maps

Associative connections and visual maps of connections between terms enable linking or cross-referencing of the terms/entries (and materials). The connections can be based on history, geographical/political associations or effects.

GCK seminars

The seminars aim at discussing how to approach referential fields, and to enable performative methods of collaboration. Six seminars took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, +MSUM in Ljubljana and one seminar at the: Liverpool John Moores UniversityMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Valand Academy in Gothenburg and Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. Each seminar was dedicated to one of six referential fields. Before each seminar, the narrators are asked to send a short draft or abstract of the term they are going to present to the narrators participating in the seminar. After a draft version of the proposed term, the terms were discussed on seminars in the following schedule:

8 to 9 May 2014 – historicisation – +MSUM

12 to 13 December 2014 – subjectivisation – +MSUM

16–17 September 2015 – geopolitics – +MSUM

2–4 March 2016 – constituencies – LJMU

27–29 June 2016 – other institutionality – +MSUM

17–18 Janary 2017 – commons – +MSUM

29–30 May 2019 – geopolitics II – +MSUM

22–24 June 2020 – commons / solidarity – NMCARS

10–12 May 2021 – subjectivisation II – Valand

8–9 April 2022 – constituencies II – Vanabbe


During the seminar the terms are presented, discussed and edited by the narrators in a communicative and transparent process, using the so-called performative method. The method enables different kinds of collective work based on transparency and communication. Working together is at the same time both a method and a translation tool – as everybody is present, there is no need for mediators or translators. Each term is signed by the narrator and by the institution or network. Additionally, each narrator is asked to assume responsibility for his, her or their term and is free to re-edit it after the discussion.

Results of the process

1. Producing and sharing knowledge with the L’Internationale partners and the global family of narrators.

2. Proposing other democratic models of cultural production and building a community of producers/users.

3. Creating a common language, broadening the limits of language as the limits of my language mean the limits of my world.

4. Dialogical structure / the narrators are present, self-translation.


Narrators create a plurality of voices and narratives which constantly examine the proposed terms and add their different viewpoints, bringing with them overlooked, suppressed knowledge and also non-Western categories of thought, memories and various “absences” (such as the absence of archives, of museum collections, of art schools, etc.). The work method is based on common interests – creating other kinds of knowledge, that is, to re-enter into the Glossary concepts that have been largely excluded from epistemic legitimacy and in this way confront the current attempts to control and seize knowledge. This method enables different ways of participation, sharing and using the knowledge and working together trans-globally. Results: 

1. Ten seminars with video documentation of discussions and presentations

2. Visual and associative maps of connections
3. Over 150 terms and descriptions of terms published on this website

4. Over 300 images of arworks, exhibitions, documents

5. Connection to the
6. Two books volumes (published by Moderna galerija in 2017 and 2022)

The first edition of the Glossary of Common Knowledge was a part of a five-year programme The Uses of Art – Legacy of 1848 and 1989 led by the L'Internationale confederation of museums. Supported by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Culture Programme of the European Union.


The second edition of the Glossary of Common Knowledge is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and it is organised in the framework of Our Many Europes, a four-year programme organised by the museum confederation L'Internationale and its partners, and co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. L'Internationale comprises seven major European art institutions: Moderna galerija (MG+MSUM, Ljubljana, Slovenia); Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid, Spain); MACBA, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain); Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium); Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie (Warsaw, Poland), SALT (Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey) and Van Abbemuseum (VAM, Eindhoven, Netherlands), and its partners are HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design (HDK-Valand, Gothenburg, Sweden) and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD, Dublin, Ireland).