institution profiles

The first six seminars of the Glossary of Common Knowledge were organised during a five-year research project run by Moderna galerija (MG+MSUM) as a part of the broader European project Uses of Art - the Legacy of 1848 and 1989 by the European confederation L'Internationale (2014-2018). In 2018, an extended confederation commenced another four-year research programme Our Many Europes. Europe's Critical 90s and the Constituent Museum, organising another series of four seminars repeating the referential fields and readdressing the issues they concern. Terms for the GCK were contributed by narrators chosen by L'internationale partners and by global family of the world of art.


L’Internationale Confederation (2018–2022) brought together seven major European art institutions:

  • Moderna galerija, MG+MSUM (Ljubljana, Slovenia);
  • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MNCARS (Madrid, Spain);
  • Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, MACBA (Barcelona, Spain);
  • Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, M HKA (Antwerp, Belgium);
  • Van Abbemuseum, Museum voor hedendaagse kunst (Eindhoven, the Netherlands);
  • Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie, MSN (Warsaw, Poland);
  • SALT (Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey).
  • HDK-Valand, Högskolan för konst och design (Gothenburg, Sweden)
  • National College of Art and Design, NCAD (Dublin, Ireland)

L’Internationale works with complementary partners such as HDK-Valand, the Academy of Art and Design (Gothenburg, Sweden) and NCAD, the National College of Art and Design (Dublin, Ireland), along with associate organisations from the academic and artistic fields. During the Uses of Art programme the partner was also Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) with complementary partners such as Grizedale Arts (GA, Coniston, United Kingdom), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU/LSAD, Liverpool, United Kingdom), Stiftung Universität Hildesheim (UH, Hildesheim, Germany) and University College Ghent School of Arts (KASK, Ghent, Belgium).


The confederation takes its name from the workers’ anthem “L’Internationale”, which calls for an equitable and democratic society with reference to the historical labour movement. The ethics of L’Internationale are based on the values of difference and antagonism, solidarity and commonality. L’Internationale also serves as an apparatus for making visible the standardisation of individual and collective beings, and defends the critical imagination of art as a catalyst for concepts of the civic institution, citizenship and democracy. L’Internationale declares that art and its institutions have the power to question and challenge their own specific systems, as well as the formal structures of institutions in general, and to be an appropriate platform for the discussion of a renewed social contract. It intends to rehearse new protocols and provide decentred models that transcend the bureaucratic and self-referential structures of cultural institutions. L’Internationale represents a new internationalist model for heritage today, challenging traditional notions of exclusiveness, closure and property. It defends a concept of common heritage that is based on interconnected archives and collections, and it brings together those who view heritage as an active tool in the processes of individual and collective emancipation. While anchored in Europe, L’Internationale is connected to different parts of the world by a shared sense of urgency with regards certain common questions. One of these urgent questions concerns the possibilities of participation in the global exchange of ideas from any given space. Thus, L’Internationale challenges the way globalising art institutions replicate the structures of multinational powers and the streamlined, centralised distribution of knowledge.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM) together with the Museum of Modern Art (MG) [Moderna galerija], forms part of the acronym MG+MSUM. The Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM) opened in November 2011 in the renovated building of the former barracks complex on Metelkova Street. []
official name MG+MSUM
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 1947
city, country Ljubljana, Slovenia
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofíaofía (MNCARS, also called the Museo Reina Sofía, Queen Sofía Museum, El Reina Sofía, or simply The Sofia) is Spain's national museum of 20th-century art. Museo Reina Sofía is organising a heterogeneous network of partnerships with groups, social movements, universities, and their bodies that question the museum and generate spaces for negotiation rather than mere representation.[]
official name Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 1992
city, country Madrid, Spain
The Van Abbemuseum opened in 1936 as one of the first public museums for modern and contemporary art to be established in Europe. It was named after the cigar manufacturer H. J. van Abbe, who financed the building as well as a contribution towards purchases and running costs for its first few years. Karel 1, Van Abbe’s cigar company, sourced his tobacco from the fields of Sumatra and Java in Indonesia, the former colony of the Netherlands. The history of this modern museum, like so many others in the western world, is intimately linked to that of the colonial project. []
official name Van Abbemuseum
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 1934
city, country Eindhoven, Netherlands
The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) opened to the public in 1995. Since then, it has forged an international reputation as a model in the field of contemporary art: the substantial growth of its collection now makes it possible to chart a path through the principal references of the art of our times, while the lines of work it has developed have positioned it as a key centre for research and reflection on artistic activity. []
official name MACBA
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 1987
city, country Barcelona, Spain
The M HKA is a museum for contemporary art, film and visual culture in its widest sense. It is an open place of encounter for art, artists and the public. The M HKA aspires to play a leading role in Flanders and to extend its international profile by building upon Antwerp’s avant-garde tradition. The M HKA bridges the relationship between artistic questions and wider societal issues, between the international and the regional, artists and public, tradition and innovation, reflection and presentation. []
official name M HKA
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 1986
city, country Antwerp, Belgium
Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie is a museum in Warsaw, Poland. It was established in 2005. The Museum opened its new exhibition space (called “the Museum on the Vistula” to differentiate it from the Museum’s headquarters located on Pańska 3 street) in the spring of 2017. The Museum’s involvement in the contemporary world is expressed through exhibitions, publications, and educational and research programs.[]
official name Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 2005
city, country Warsaw, Poland
SALT is a not-for-profit cultural institution in public service, engaging in research, exhibitions, publications, web projects, conferences, and other public programs in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey. It was founded as a post-departmentalised institution, which does not prioritise any period, discipline or object-based practice. The aim is to channel objects and materials into a broader discussion. Through SALT Research, which comprises a specialised library and an open-access online archive, the institution collects sources material culture in visual practices, built environment, social life and economic history. []
official name SALT
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 2011
city, country Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey
The Valand Academy of Arts at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, is a centre for the development of the independent artist/ author/ film-maker/ photographer. We are especially interested in the agency of artists, and in artist-led cultures, across the space of contemporary art, cinema, literature, photographic and curatorial practices.[]
official name HDK-Valand
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 1865
city, country Gothenburg, Sweden
Making remains at the core of NCAD with our schools of Design and Fine Art offering a studio-based learning experience that responds to both the digital and material world. NCAD today is an organisation strengthened by close connections to our community in Dublin 8, and partners across the fields of Irish education, industry, culture and social enterprise. We attract students from around the world. Active in international networks, we create new forms of knowledge with research partners across Europe. Art and design education at NCAD stimulates the creativity and imagination we all need to make our environment more sustainable, our societies more inclusive and all our lives richer.[]
official name NCAD
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 1746
city, country Dublin, Ireland
Liverpool John Moores University is a public research university in the city of Liverpool, England with more than 24,000 students – 20,410 undergraduate students and 4,270 postgraduate students, making it the largest university in Liverpool by student population – as well as being the twentieth largest in the United Kingdom. []
official name Liverpool John Moores Uni.
organisation type l'internationale partners
founding date 1823
city, country Liverpool, United Kingdom