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PhD Research: Perpetuation of Site: How Site-Specific Installations Evolve from One Stage to Another (Tatja Schotte)

Name Tatja Scholte

Title of research project / research interests

Perpetuation of Site: How Site-Specific Installations Evolve from One Stage to Another

Type of research e.g. PhD or Postdoc PhD project

Affiliation(s) Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands / University of Amsterdam

Supervisor(s) Prof. Dr. Julia Noordegraaf, University of Amsterdam; Prof. Dr. Deborah Cherry, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London; Prof. Dr. Glenn Wharton,  New York University

(Estimated) date of completion September 2017

Previous education and/or work experience Programme manager at Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands since 2008. Co-founder of the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (INCCA) (1999-2001), coordinator of the international project ‘Inside Installations. Preservation and Presentation of Installation Art’ (2004-2007). Trained as an artist and MA in Art History.


The problem of the continuance of site-specific installations is that time not only intervenes with the artwork, but also with site. Site-specific installations are often intended as a temporary, singular iteration and are nonetheless collected by museums, reinstalled and sometimes refabricated. As a consequence, the relationships between artwork and site – physical, conceptual and social – are redefined over and again. In this research project a conceptual framework is developed for understanding site-specific installation art in a museum context. Strategies for their perpetuation are examined, making use of the current conservation discourse of contemporary art, the notion of cultural biography (Kopytoff, Appadurai) and models on space and spatiality taken from social geography (in particular Henri Lefebvre’s theory).


Site-specificity, installation art, biography, space, spatiality, restaging

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