Arteast 2000+ is the first museum collection conceived with a focus on Eastern European postwar avant-garde art in a broader international context. Since its inception in 2000, the collection has become well known for providing a comprehensive overview of art in the region. Similarly, it is recognized for the insight it provides into certain shared sociopolitical issues that are or were of central concern for the artists in the formerly socialist countries, outlining as it does the developments from the 1960s through the transition period in the 1990s to the present-day context of global neoliberal capitalism. In 2011, Arteast 2000+ came to form the core of the newly founded Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (+MSUM), which operates as part of Moderna galerija, Ljubljana.
Several Arteast 2000+ exhibitions have been staged at the +MSUM. The first, entitled The Present and Presence, dealt with various kinds of time. It was followed by nine partial variations on the first show, all in the concept-framework of “repetition” devised as yet another dimension of time, and titled according to the different focuses of the shows – The Street, Micropolitical Situations, Install Yourself!, The Time of Intimate Decisions, and so on.
In 2017, Low-Budget Utopias focused on the concept of collection as a tool. The exhibition worked to establish which museum model would best suit the predominantly unfavorable working conditions of both artists and institutions in the post-socialist world, as well as interests that favor otherness over identity, knowledge production over unambiguous cultural trophies, and the process of becoming over institutionalization. The answer proposed by the exhibition was the utopian concept of a sustainable museum.
The current exhibition gives prominence to works showing how artists drew attention to their repressive environments by torturing or disciplining their bodies, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, as new political realties emerged, artists began treating their bodies as “theatre”, with the personas they developed representing new social constructs. By the 1990s the body was represented as physically vulnerable and socially marginalized. The artists newly included in this section of the exhibition are Jože Barši, Geta Brătescu, Tomislav Gotovac, Tibor Hajas, Jan Mlčoch, Ilija Šoškić and Petr Štembera.
The other section explores the topic of living conditions, more specifically, dwellings. Here we have included the minimalist façades of modernist buildings in Berlin by Josef Dabernig, Tanja Lažetić’s photographs of intimate details of her grandmother’s home, Oliver Musovik’s humorous depictions of his neighbors’ apartments in a housing block built in socialist times, and Cesare Pietroiusti’s photographs that are like windows opening into unusual spaces.
A part of the exhibition is also the special project The Lives of Monuments, which grew out of the Art for Communal Use seminar at the Department of Art History of the University of Ljubljana in collaboration with Moderna galerija.