ICOM Slovenia is awarding Slovene museums for their work already for the fourth year, aimed at encouraging, popularising and promoting the international networking of the ideas and activities of Slovene museums. The award is given to individuals, groups or organizations, who through international cooperation, inter-institutional integration, participatory and mutual projects on an international level, manage to establish an international dialogue and promote the development and importance of museums as institutions, bringing new ideas, and contributing to the development of consciousness.
The EMEE partner National Museum of Contemporary History in Slovenia applied in 2016 with their version of the EuroVision Lab. in the category of internationally recognised projects. The Slovene EuroVision Lab. “Time Capsule” was an exhibition curated in a new way: with a group of young people who usually do not visit museums, the museum staff worked for 12 months to conceptualise the exhibition. They started with a speed dating, in which the young people met museum professionals from various Slovene museums, who presented their objects to them. From those objects they chose the exhibits and started creating an exhibition around them. The exhibition turned out to be a living room, where all items could be touched and used, where visitors were invited to explore. The project group also issued a catalogue (Purg, U. and Štefanič, J. (ed) (2015), Eurovision Lab. En predmet – Mnogo vizij – EvroVizij / One Object – Many Visions – EuroVisions. Katalog prve EMEE eksperimentalne razstave /Catalogue of the first EMEE Experimental Exhibition, Ljubljana: edition mono/monochrom, available online: https://www.museums-exhibiting-europe.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/EuroVision-Lab.-Catalog.pdf) accompanying the exhibition.
The innovative approach convinced the jury, the EuroVision Lab. in Ljubljana was recognized as the best candidate in this category, and has won the annual ICOM Slovenia award 2016:
ICOM Slovenia Prize in 2016 for its work in the international field goes to Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia for the experimental exhibition EuroVision Lab. “One object – Many Visions – EuroVisions”, by Kaja Širok, PhD and Urška Purg:
Experimental exhibition EuroVision Lab. “One object – Many Visions – EuroVisions”, by Kaja Širok and Urška Purg with colleagues is part of a wider European project EMEE: EuroVision – Museums Exhibiting Europe, which took place from 2012 to 2016. The project, in which also the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia took part in as a partner, was designed primarily for research of innovative interdisciplinary approach for national and regional museums to re-interpret its museum facilities. As one of the first European projects in the field of museology in Slovenian museum’s area opens many contemporary and topical questions about the role of museums and museum material. Strongly leading to integration – between museums, museum exhibits, experts and the public, and showing in many new forms of work and communication of museum material in society.
Experimental exhibition EuroVision Lab. “One object – Many Visions – EuroVisions” is the result of several months’ work and longer creative process, which presents a model of dynamic exhibitions, offering various forms of communication. With guided tours, workshops for young people, workshops for museum professionals, museum tea parties, museum speed dating game, creation of a time capsule, the authors and their colleagues offer affordable, accessible and understandable museum to a wider range of museum visitors. The possibility of direct involvement in the creation of the exhibition and the selection of exhibits traces new tendencies in museology, to let the public decide itself about what to keep and represent in museums.
The exhibition was on display at the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia from July to December 2015, attended by more than 5,000 visitors. Part of the exhibition subtitled Museums as a Creative Lab, also hosted at participating museums – the Museum of Contemporary History Celje, Museums of Goriška region and Posavje Museum Brežice.
Winning such an important museum award gives recognition to the EMEE project on the national level, as well as on a European level, recognizing the work as this year’s best international project. The EMEE Slovene EMEE team is very honoured to receive this award and the whole EMEE consortium takes pride in appreciation of EMEE’s work that comes with it. All EMEE members cordially congratulate the Slovene team!
Winners of the ICOM Slovenia Prize in 2016: Third from left Širok Kaja Širok, PhD, and second from right Urška Purg