The Uses of Art


Museum of Arte Útil. Van Abbemuseum, 2013. Photo: Peter Cox

The Uses of Art - The legacy of 1848 and 1989

This programme, organised by L’Internationale and co-financed by the European Union’s Culture Programme, started in 2013 and proposes new readings of European art history. Its perspective on the past is anchored in the long history of civil society, tracing it back to the civic revolutions of 1848 through wars and social changes, up to the revolutions of 1989 and then on to the economic crises of today.

The activities (exhibitions, conferences, symposia, workshops, publications, cinema programmes), planned as part of The Uses of Art project, can be divided into those that reflect on the formation of civil society in the mid-19th century from today's perspective and explore the role of art in democratic emergence; those that revisit the 1980s and focus on the relation between artistic experiment and the beginnings of a trans-European civil society; and, finally, those that think through the future possibilities of European society based on common cultural references and transnational identities.

The organisation of exhibitions, symposia, publications, education programmes and staff exchanges culminated with simultaneous exhibitions across Europe, thus generating a content-driven, sustainable form of collaboration in the museum field that will ensure new forms of transnational access — both physical and digital — as well as intercultural dialogue on society and visual art, and the sharing of professional skills and knowledge about collections and artistic projects.

The Uses of Art is a programme organised by L’Internationale: Moderna galerija (MG, 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); Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej W Warszawie (MSN, Warsaw, Poland); SALT (Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey); Van Abbemuseum(VAM, Eindhoven, the Netherlands), together with associated partners in the United Kingdom: Grizedale Arts (GA), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), and MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Contemporary Art; Stiftung Universität Hildesheim (UH), in Germany, and University College Ghent School of Arts (KASK), in Belgium.

Related activities

Organised in the framework of The Uses of Art project in Museo Reina Sofía