Borbála KÁLMÁN

Borbála KÁLMÁN

art historian, curator / Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art (HUN) | cultural heritage expert


As a fresh graduate in art history, she joins in 2007 one of Hungary’s pioneer private contemporary art galleries contributing to its managing until 2014. Moving then to Myanmar, she focuses on individual field research within the contemporary art scene in Yangon, while working in an art gallery and writing about the scene; she co-curates with Nathalie Johnston a unique archives-based exhibition (Muted Consciousness). Back to Budapest, she attends Central European University’s Cultural Heritage Studies Programme (thesis: A Site for Mindful (Re)Definition: the Independent Contemporary Art Scene of Myanmar, 2017). She is since 2015 curator and researcher at Ludwig Museum’s exhibition department. Her involvement as curator assistant in The Whale that was a SubmarineContemporary Positions form Albania and Kosovo became a turning point in her praxis reinforced by the CEU thesis in researching the art museum institution’s better adaptation if at all possible to the cultural contexts it was never inherent to and which in a paradoxical way supposedly defines those (Beyond an Institutional Comfort Zone, Association of Critical Heritage Studies Biennial Conference / University College London, 2020). On the long run, she wishes to keep merging both her curatorial work and her critical heritage views to enable voicing art that has the necessity to speak. She became involved in Ludwig Museum’s Curator Cloud  in 2020, which she represents as speaker at HyMEx 2021. 



The ‘Curator Cloud’ – a Resilient Apparatus for the Long-Term

The idea of the Curator Cloud was first conceived in Spring 2019 and was soon adopted as a survival apparatus aiming at an experiment for a deeper shift  in the long-term within the institutional framework. It had already generated a sort of grassroots methodology  with a collective standpoint within the Museum before the pandemic. Afterwards, it grew into  a communal reaction in the midst of a global and local, structural, formal and theoretical institutional crisis. It was also  an improvised response to the unprecedented hybrid shift brought about by the extraordinary  circumstances in 2020. The presentation seeks to illustrate how the Curator Cloud turned from an  original marketing gimmick at the time towards a manufacture-like work process aiming at collective knowledge sharing – admittedly, it is still a work in progress today, an ambitious experiment with remarkable results. The Curator Cloud has become a resilient modus operandi allowing a framework to improve the collaborative approach of understanding and proceeding in sharing a set of multivalent competencies, meanwhile encouraging the Cloud as a developing agent of ideas. This attempt is enhanced with the attempt to view the Cloud as a driving force in dismantling the high walls within the institution, to wind-out the hierarchical museum barriers towards a more direct accessibility of knowledge. The Cloud’s pervading structure enables its essence to be a response to the inevitable hybridity that the institutional shift is going through, especially in regard of the exhibitions.

The presentation at HyMEx embraces the work of several other curators at Ludwig Museum: it is a sort of extract of the collaborative work dynamic characterising the curatorial team’s last two years at Ludwig. The aim of the short talk is to share an impression of the work flow that drove and is still driving the Cloud reaching over the museum walls or national borders.


The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.


HyMEx is organized within the Beyond Matter project-frame.


Partners of Beyond Matter