Authenticity and Meaning. Its role in the Conservation of Contemporary Art

Posted on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 14:07
{jcomments on}Parallel session
Authenticity and Meaning. Its Role in the Conservation of Contemporary Art
presentations & discussion
Date, time
Wednesday 9th June, 15:00-17:00
Alberto de Tagle, Chief Scientist
Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage / ICN
Alexander Arrechea, artist
Giorgio Bonsanti, art historian and critic
Louise Cone, Conservator Contemporary Art and Sculpture, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
Marianne Parsch, collections manager Goetz Collection
Click here to download session summary
This discussion has as an objective to elicit and provoke discussion and opinions from the audience on the issues of authenticity and meaning in the context of conserving and looking into contemporary art. Authenticity and meaning go together, more so in contemporary art, but is this new? Which are the new avenues and similarities with other areas of cultural heritage preservation? Which are the points of view of the collectors, the historians. the conservation scientists and the artists? Are they contradicting each other?
Short contributions on their points of view on these matters will be presented by a contemporary artist, an art historian, a conservation scientist, and a collections manager. These will give their personal opinions and the discussions will be guided by a moderator.
Alberto de Tagle was born and raised in Havana, Cuba.  He studied at the Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany, where he obtained an MS in analytical chemistry. He returned to Cuba in 1972 and served for the next 10 years as head of inorganic instrumental analysis at the National Centre for Scientific Research.  Alberto earned a Ph.D. in inorganic atomic spectroscopy at the TH Merseburg, in 1980 also in Germany. From 1982 until 1990 he directed scientific research in cultural heritage conservation at the National Centre for Conservation, Restoration, and Museology, Havana, Cuba. He lectured as associate professor on colonial decorative paintings at the University of Havana. Since 1991 Alberto has been a visiting lecturer in advanced conservation science at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. In 1992 he was appointed head of the analytical laboratories at the Winterthur Museum and Gardens in Delaware and adjunct associate professor in the Art Conservation Program at the University of Delaware. From 1995 until 2001 he was Director of the Scientific Program and then Chief Scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, USA.  Since 2002 Alberto was Head of Research, and currently Chief Scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Alberto is member of ICCROM’s General Council, lectures internationally and participates in scientific advisory committees at several conservation research institutions in Europe.
Alexandre Arrechea (1970 Trinidad/Cuba) graduated from “Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA)” in Havana in 1994. The prominence of surveillance systems and the accompanying obsession with control during our time had served as a key source for the work Alexandre began in 2003.  Investigation into this issue led him to develop a body of work dealing with loss of privacy, fragility, memory and the failure of control and power. Works such as the garden of mistrust (2003-2005) Perpetual free entrance (2006) deal, to some degree, with troubles of accessibility or approach to art work.  At present his interest is the limits of artwork itself. With that purpose in mind he created a particular installation for the last Havana Biennial. The work consists of a house of steel divided into eleven sections. The extensions or separation between walls change daily, depending of the rise or fall of the Dow Jones index. On March 2nd, 2010 Times Square the mythical New York space, became the scene for Alexandre Arrechea who was chosen for the public art programs with the video work Black sun (2009), a 3D animated wrecking ball that continuously hit NASDAQ Billboard. As such, the work he is currently doing is ultimately a provocative exercise of criticisms on the structures of power in our time.
Giorgio Bonsanti, art historian, assistant at the Casa Buonarroti in Florence (1968-1974), Director of the Galleria Estense in Modena (1974 to 1979), Director of the Medici Chapel (1979-1982), San Marco Museum, Galleria dell'Accademia and Ufficio Restauri (1979 to 1988) in Florence. From 1988 to 2000 in Florence Superintendent at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure; involved in many major conservation projects in Italy and abroad. Former member of the Scientific Council for the Conservation of the Wall Paintings at the Courtauld Institute, of the Commission for the preservation of the Artistic Heritage of the Italian Republic Presidency; since 2005, a member of the Commission for preventive conservation of the Louvre. In March 2000 first Italian Full Professor of "Conservation History and Techniques" at Turin University, since 2003 in Florence; retired in 2010. Former Trustee of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, President of Firenze Mostre SpA, City Councillor in Florence. Since July 2004 President of the Festival dei Popoli (international Festival of documentary films) in Florence. Former Responsible Director of the review "O.P.D. Restauro", currently Scientific Expert for the Italian conservation review "Kermes"; since 1994 in charge of a monthly section in "Giornale dell'Arte". Publications on Giotto, Beato Angelico, Donatello, Michelangelo, Michael Pacher, Antonio Begarelli.
Louise Cone was born and raised in New York. She holds a BA in fine arts from The School of Visual Arts, NYC. After working as an artist for at number of years, she moved to Copenhagen and earned a masters in conservation from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, The School of Conservation. Louise has been working as the Conservator of Contemporary Art at Statens Museum for Kunst since 2004. She has been involved in numerous conservation research projects involving in conserving modern materials and complex composite artworks as well as installations and conceptual artworks. She is also presently project leader for a European project entitled PRIMI, Plastics Research and Innovation for Museums and Industry, an interdisciplinary collaboration between artists, conservators, research scientists, and plastics industry, meant to encourage knowledge sharing and product development across the board. Louise also teaches contemporary art conservation, intermittently, at The School of Conservation. She is one of the founding members of  INCCA and is the coordinator for the INCCA Scandinavia group.
Marianne Parsch studied in Freiburg and Berne. She obtained a university degree in biology in Freiburg and worked on several research projects as a biologist. She then went on to study conservation and graduated with a Diploma in Paper Conservation (HfG Bern); specialisation in photographic materials. Marianne worked as a conservator for graphic arts at Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Münster. Consultant and freelance work for companies, museums, galleries, private collectors. Conservator at Goetz Collection Munich since 2003. Marianne lives and works with her family in Munich.