The Curator’s Room – Igor Zabel: How to Make Art Visible?

Film screening
Friday, January 17th 2020
Gorgona hall, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb / free entrance

The Curator’s Room, a documentary film by Damjan Kozole dedicated to the art historian and curator Igor Zabel (1958–2005), focuses on Zabel’s work in the field of visual arts from the end of the 1980s to his death. Throughout the film we learn how, in that epochal time – at the turn of the century and on the intersection of (post)modern and contemporary art, the local and international art space, socialism and capitalism, East and West, artistic and social/political –Zabel faced in his work not only great changes and conflicts, but also possibilities for the new.

The screening will be followed by a discussion between Ursa Jurman, scripwriter, Damjan Kozole, director, and curator Tevž Logar.

The film portrays not only a man who, despite the internal contradictions of the art world, persistently believed in the power of art, but also the time and space in which Igor Zabel worked and which he co-shaped.

As an art historian and curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana, Zabel importantly contributed to an adequate historical placement of artistic phenomena such as historical avant-gardes (Tank!, 1998) and neo-avant-gardes (OHO: Retrospective, 1994), but also contemporary artistic practices. In Slovenia, he was one of the key art historians who defined contemporary art as a specific art practice and importantly contributed to its establishment, also in the international context (Manifesta 3). In addition, he always incisively reflected on the conditions in which contemporary art emerged.

The documentary tells of his concept of the curator’s role, his key exhibition projects and their backgrounds, his interventions into Slovenian art history, his literary works and the texts with which he importantly co-created the reflection on the relation between the (former) East and West as it were manifested in the field of art after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This is not merely a film about Igor Zabel, but also a film about a time that brought essential shifts in the understanding and evaluation of art in the context of great social and political changes. In addition to the reflection on Zabel’s heritage, the film includes important documents that tell us how contemporary art was born and established in Slovenia and Eastern Europe. – claims the director Damjan Kozole.


The Curator’s Room
Igor Zabel: How to Make Art Visible?
Slovenia, 2018, 64 min, in color, 1:1,77 / 16:9
director: Damjan Kozole

scriptwriter: Urša Jurman / camera: Matjaž Mrak /editor: Jurij Moškon / sound: Julij Zornik / music: Laibach (Von Sonnen Untergang) / producer: Danijel Hočevar production company: Vertigo / co-production: RTV Slovenia, Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory / financial support by: Slovenian Film Centre / distribution: Vertigo

with: Zdenka Badovinac, Jože Barši, Francesco Bonami, Barbara Borčić, Ekaterina Degot, Ješa Denegri, Charles Esche, Vadim Fiškin, Sergej Kapus, Samo Krušič, Boris Marte, Viktor Misiano, Marjetica Potrč, Igor Španjol, Borut Vogelnik, Mateja Kos Zabel, Bojan in Sonja Zabel, Božidar Zrinski, Beti Žerovc, Peter Weibel


Artists’ Cinema is a project by:

MSU, The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb and

Apoteka – Space for Contemporary Art.

Curated by Branka Benčić Organized by Tihomir Milovac

The Curator’s Room – Igor Zabel: How to Make Art Visible? is organized in collaboration with Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory


Organized with support of City of Zagreb and HAVC Croatian Audiovisual Centre