Zdenka Badovinac became the director of the Moderna galerija in Ljubljana in 1993, during a tumultuous period characterized by radical socio-political changes and (re)formations of artistic discourses influenced by reconfigurations in local and global geopolitical power relations. Since the beginning of her mandate, and through her curatorial innovations, Badovinac has developed one of the most progressive, critical, and referential art institutions worldwide. Under her leadership, Moderna galerija has continued to build on its historical foundations (since 1948) of collecting and presenting the full breadth of 20th-century artistic production. She initiated the first collection of Eastern European art, Moderna galerija’s Arteast 2000+ Collection.
Badovinac was the Slovenian Commissioner at the Venice Biennale from 1993 to 1997 and again in 2005. She was the Austrian Commissioner at the São Paulo Biennial in 2002 and the President of CIMAM, the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art, from 2010 to 2013.
She has been a prolific writer and lecturer, making immense contributions to new paradigms in art theory, politics of art, curatorship, practices of exhibiting, institutional critique, and strategies of solidarity within the (institutional) contemporary art field. Her most recent book, Comradeship: Curating, Art, and Politics in Post-Socialist Europe (ICI, New York, 2019), is a unique collection of critical writing offering in-depth reflections on counter-hegemonic curatorial strategies and artistic discourses.
Photo: (c) Nada Žgank