Art Archives Study. Before and after 2004

basis wien – Documentation Centre for Contemporary Art (Vienna, Austria), The Archive of Fine Arts (Prague, Czech Republic), and Moderna galerija’s Archives Department (Ljubljana, Slovenia) – three archives of the visual arts of the 20th and 21st centuries and also partners in (EAN) have initiated a new two-year project entitled ARTAS – Art Archives Study. Before and after 2004.

For decades these three archives have collected, preserved, and made available documentation relating to the contemporary artistic production and its protagonists, writers, and venues in their respective countries, offering researchers and the interested public a wealth of information about the individual figures, institutions, and exhibitions of the art of the 20th and 21st centuries. All partners manage their respective comprehensive databases (Art and Research Database basis wienabARTRazUme), which together contain data on more than 220,000 exhibitions and 205,000 individuals.
The year 2004, the period of the greatest enlargement of the European Union to date, serves as a starting point for the ARTAS project. With the accession of ten new member states, including the Czech Republic and Slovenia, the political, economic, and social relations among the states changed. The collaborative project will examine the impact this historical moment had on contemporary art in the environments covered by the collected data. The explorations will be based on the materials kept in the three archives and the points where the three databases intersect. The emphasis will be on the correlations between the events and individuals in the countries where the three archives are located.

The project aims to detect the changes in the way artists, curators, and institutions collaborated and connected under the new circumstances. The expected additions to the databases, supplementing the existing collections of materials, will enable a new perspective on guidelines for future collaborations among European archives of contemporary art.

For more information see the project's blog.

The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union (2023–2024).