2008-10 Lisbon seminar: Ephemeral Art and Conservation

Posted on Thu, 10/30/2008 - 10:18
The paradigm of contemporary art and ethnographic objects.
7 and 8 November 2008
Museo do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal


Register before 29 October 2008.



In contemporary art, the life span of the artworks has been shortening radically since the beginning of the 20th century, with the use of materials of several types and provenances. Artists are seduced by their expressive and communicational nature and not by their durability. Ethnographic assets, in which ritual and symbolic functions are central, pose this problem since the first collections. However, in both cases the frailty of the works, or their intended reduced life span, come into conflict with the need to preserve everything, so characteristic of our times.

The aim of this meeting is to debate the philosophical issues related to contemporary art and ethnographic assets, discussing values that are difficult to balance in the task of preservation. This is the case of material values versus conceptual, ritual, or aesthetic values. We will also discuss issues of originality and authenticity and their relation with the historic and cultural values of objects, artist’s intention, intangibility, social function and other topics. The meeting will also address alternative processes of conservation within the scope of the museum as well as the profile of conservators, who are committed to a task that surpasses the domain of materiality and requires working with new media and documentation.

For more information and registration form see the PDF here.