Book Launch: Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Conservation and Care, Vol. 1 - May 2, 5pm CET, online

Posted on Mon, 04/15/2024 - 10:48
Pina Bausch Vollmond



Date and time


The SNSF research project Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge is pleased to host a public presentation of the book titled Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Conservation and Care, vol.1 (eds. Hanna B. Hölling, Jules Pelta Feldman and Emilie Magnin; Routledge 2023). The event will take place within the Thursday Lecture seminar series convened by the Institute Materiality in Art and Culture, HKB Bern.

This book focuses on performance and performance-based artworks as seen through the lens of conservation, which has long been overlooked in the larger theoretical debates about whether and how performance remains.

Unraveling the complexities involved in the conservation of performance, Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Conservation and Care (vol. 1) brings this new understanding to bear in examining performance as an object of study, experience, acquisition, and care. In so doing, it presents both theoretical frameworks and functional paradigms for thinking about—and enacting—the conservation of performance. Further, while the conservation of performance is undertheorized, performance is nevertheless increasingly entering the art market and the museum, meaning that there is an urgent need for discourse on how to care for these works long-term. In recent years, a few pioneering conservators, curators, and scholars have begun to create frameworks for the longterm care of performance. This volume presents, explicates, and contextualizes their work so that a larger discourse can commence. It will thus serve the needs of conservation students and professors, for whom literature on this subject is sorely needed.

This interdisciplinary book thus implements a novel rethinking of performance that will challenge and revitalize its conception in many fields, such as art history, theater, performance studies, heritage studies, and anthropology.

The book has been published by Routledge within the series Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies and is available in hardcover and Open Access.
The event will feature presentations by several contributing authors: Rebecca Schneider, Pip Laurenson, Megan Metcalf & Cori Olighouse, Helia Marcal, Brian Castriota & Claire Walsh, and Eleaonore Hellio & Michel Ekeba of the Kongo Astronauts (tbc). Introduction by the book's editors Hanna B. Hölling, Jules Pelta Feldman and Emilie Magnin. A panel discussion with all authors will follow and there will be a possibility to ask questions.

This event is free, but you need to register in order to attend.

The book in hardcover will be available to the registered attendees at a reduced rate.

A free download of the digital copy of the book is available via the link attached.

Image: Pina Bausch, Vollmond, 2006, performance documentation, Schauspielhaus Wuppertal. Courtesy: Laurent Philippe and Freeze.


Bern University of the Arts