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MA thesis: BISCAINHO, J. "Experiencing Cinema": Exhibition and Conservation

MA Thesis

By João Biscainho, Master of Museology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Date: March 2012

Title: "Experiência de cinema": Exposição e Conservação. Em busca da "perfomance autêntica" English title: “Experiencing Cinema”: Exhibition and Conservation.

Keywords: conservation, contemporary Art, Rosângela Rennó, experiencing cinema, time-based media, new media, original condition, authentic performance, authenticity, video installation, video art, 3D simulation, digital video, photography, expanded cinema, Caixa Geral de Depósitos collection, Tate Modern collection, Musac collection, Fundación Sorigué collection.

Abstract: The dissertation is based on the analysis of the artwork "Experiencing Cinema" 2004/2005, by the Brazilian artist Rosângela Rennó, whose particularity lays on the formal fact of being a video projection on a smoke screen. The analysis focused primarily on technical and formal aspects aimed at their conservation and to ensure that in the future it might be presented with authenticity. The need to do research on issues inherent to the practice of conservation and exhibition of time-based media works, found a fertile field in this work, in the different institutions where it’s multiples are incorporated (Caixa Geral de Depósitos Collection, Tate Modern, MUSAC, Fundación Sorigué), focusing on the different individual parts and devices necessary for its reproduction. The most technical analysis of all the components is justified by a theoretical framework that departs from the concept of "Original Condition" for a proposed "Authentic Performance", as an objective to be reached. I hereby present the report of a research that sought to know "Experiencing Cinema", in a detailed way and where are presented detailed and accurate descriptions of the different elements that constitute it (video, machine and smoke liquids, synchronization and control device, video projector, smoke distribution pipe, smoke extraction system and space for presentation of the work). The need to visually document "Experiencing Cinema" in space, in a schematic and malleable way, finds a solution in this paper by means of 3D simulation using free software (SketchUp), valuing this type of documentation as a practice to be more regularly implemented, in the context of museum exhibition and conservation.

At last, there’s a proposal for the conservation strategy of "Experiencing Cinema", once again, focusing in the particular analysis of each of the elements necessary for proper installation of the piece in an authentic way, stating the need for sharing information about "Experiencing Cinema" amongst the different institutions that have acquired it, as well as the appreciation of the production of reference documentation for exhibition and conservation work.

Language: Portuguese

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Raquel Henriques da Silva and Prof. Dr. Rita Macedo.

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