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INCCA Update May 28, 2014

Submerged Motherlands, Swoon (2014)

Submerged Motherlands, Swoon (2014)

Dear INCCA members and colleagues all over the world,
A few weeks ago I participated in a meeting organised by INCCA North America on the subject of Artist Interview Materials and held in the Brooklyn offices of the Dedalus Foundation. Essentially a day-long brainstorm session, the meeting was to uncover issues that caretakers of contemporary art face when capturing, collecting and archiving documentation that describes the artists views on the preservation of his/her work. Two issues stood out for me that day, that indeed have been problematic ever since the formation of INCCA. Firstly, the ‘formal’ artist interview that is carefully prepared, often filmed and of which a transcript is made is not always the most significant or helpful document for making conservation decisions. Informal interactions with the artist and the ideas he/she discloses during the installation of a work, for example, can provide information ‘gems’ for the future. The challenge remains how to capture such interactions and archive this information in such a way it can be helpful in the future. Secondly, despite great improvements in information technology in the last decade, it still remains a challenge to ensure that even your direct colleagues have access to your documentation; let alone international peers and the public.
The meeting was the first step towards creating a document for creators of artist interview materials as advise on how to capture, archive and share these materials. It goes without saying that one strategy for sharing artist interview materials with your international peers is to add them to the INCCA Database. Indeed, the Database can also be used by organisations to share documents amongst internal colleagues, if their own systems are not currently suitable. If you would like to talk about using the INCCA Database in this way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
My trip to New York ended with a wonderful visit to the Brooklyn Museum. The Ai Weiwei exhibition According to
What? did not disappoint. It was impressive and quite emotional. The installation Submerged Motherlands by American artist Swoon however, that really blew me away. So beautiful. Delicate and massive at the same time. A dream to look at and walk in amongst but a nightmare for the conservator!
Karen te Brake-Baldock, INCCA Central Coordinator
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