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HIIOP, H. Contemporary Art in the Museum. How to Preserve the Ephemeral? 2012

Author:Hilkka Hiiop

Document type: Doctoral thesis

Date or creation: December 2012

Languages: Estonian and English

Abstract: The 20th century drastically changed the limits of artistic creation: the emphasis shifted from traditional crafts and materials to a concept-, emotion-, and process-related approach - in other words, to non-tangible aspects. It is complicated to fit the ephemeral and dynamic nature of the creative practices of contemporary art into the traditional preservationsystem of museums, which store tangible heritage. A number of dilemmas arise: how should the non-permanent creative materials of contemporary art be conserved? How can the intangible levels of interpreting contemporary artworks be preserved? Do museums have the right to acquire works with clearly short-term physical lifespans? What will eventually remain of the contemporary heritage for future generations.

The doctoral thesis of Hilkka Hiiop attempts to analyse those complicated questions, which sometimes have no clear answers, by including in the though process, besides museum specialists, the authors of the works. The wider goal of the thesis is to esteblish an informed and scientific basis for preserving art in the Art Museum of Estonia.

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