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The Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp M HKA and five other modern art museums have received 2.5 million euros from the European Union to launch the project The Uses of Art. The Legacy of 1848 and 1989 that must offer a new type of perspective on European art history. The project will see the M HKA continue its partnership with museums like the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Abbe Museum in Eindhoven and the SALT in Istanbul and Ankara. The focus of the project is on the revolution years of 1848 and 1989 - two significant events that changed the course of European history. In their contemporary take on these events, the museums will focus on key concepts such as Europe, art and identity, exchange artworks and staff, and organize symposia and an online platform to attract an estimated 4 million visitors with 59 000 works of art.
The project was launched under the mentorship of L'Internationale, an international museum confederation which has recently gained momentum after being founded in 2010. According to M HKA museum director Bart De Baere, the confederation aims to encourage collaboration from an arts, business and communications platform, while each museum maintains its independence and uniqueness. “We also endeavour to offset the centralized model of top museums like the Tate Modern, which often work from a broader base and are too generalist. We will bundle the diversity of our museums to highlight the best each has to offer.”
The next event under the banner of The Uses of Art will be the exhibition which opens in the Reina Sofia in October and will offer a new perspective on art history in relation to socio-political change in Spain and Europe in the eighties. In the summer of 2014 the M HKA will mount the expo After Identity, a retrospective on European artists and their view on politics of identity.
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