Just published: Conservation of Contemporary Art: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice

Posted on Fri, 01/05/2024 - 14:37
Book cover of Conservation of Contemporary Art: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice

This open access book investigates whether and how theoretical findings and insights in contemporary art conservation can be translated into the daily work practices of conservators or, vice versa, whether and how the problems and dilemmas encountered in conservation practice can inform broader research questions and projects. For several decades now, the conservation of contemporary art has been a dynamic field of research and reflection. Because of contemporary art’s variable constitution, its care and management calls for a fundamental rethinking of the overall research landscape of museums, heritage institutions, private-sector organizations and universities. At first, this research was primarily pursued by conservation professionals working in or with museums and other heritage organizations, but increasingly academic researchers and universities became involved, for instance through collaborative projects. This book is the result of such collaboration. It sets out to bridge the “gap” between theory and practice by investigating conservation practices as a form of reflection and reflection as a form of practice.

Edited by Renée van de Vall and Vivian van Saaze, the book is an outcome of the research and training programme New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art (NACCA). It can be viewed on the publisher's website: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-42357-4, or downloaded from an attachment to this post.


Introduction to the Volume
Renée van de Vall and Vivian van Saaze

Part I Theorizing Conservation as a Reflective Practice

Artworks in Art Museums
Theodore Schatzki

Doing Ethics in Practice: SBMK Platform Meetings
Renée van de Vall

Part II The Identity of the Art Object

The Enfolding Object of Conservation: Artwork Identity, Authenticity, and Documentation
Brian Castriota

When Old Was New: Rethinking Traditional and Contemporary Art and Their Paradigms of Care
Cybele Tom

Languages of Conservation: A Comparison Between Internet-Based Art and Built Heritage
Claudia Roeck

No Longer Artwork
Marina Valle Noronha

Part III Professional Roles and Identities - Conservators, Curators, and Artists

Visible Issues. Insights Into the Professional Identity of the Conservator
Rita Macedo

Conceptual Art and Conservation
Sanneke Stigter

Reinstalling Thomas Hirschhorn’s Doppelgarage (2002): Bridging Gaps Between Theory, Practice and Emotion in the Preservation of Installation Artworks
Maike Grün

The Increasing Role of Artists’ Estates in the Preservation of Contemporary Art
Anna Schäffler

Part IV Documentation and Decision-Making in Theory and Practice

Documenting Hybrid Mixed Media Art Forms: The Role of the Audience
Gabriella Giannachi

Sharing Knowledge in Art Conservation: From Repository Building to Research Publishing
Dušan Barok

Collections of (An)archives: Towards a New Perspective on Institutional Collecting of Contemporary Art and the Object of Conservation
Aga Wielocha

Decision-Making for the Conservation and Presentation of Thermoelectronic Chewing Gum (1970), a Political Environment by Wolf Vostell
Julia Giebeler, Gunnar Heydenreich, and Andrea Sartorius

Part V The Role of Research in the Art Museum

The Living Process of Conserving Performance: Theory and Practice in the Conservation of Performance-Based Artworks at Tate
Louise Lawson, Duncan Harvey, Ana Ribeiro, and Hélia Marçal

Integrating Front-of-House with Behind-the-Scenes Practice in Contemporary Art Conservation
Caitlin Spangler-Bickell

Is Trust Enforceable? The Conservation of Contemporary Artworks from a Socio-legal Perspective
Zoë Miller and Anke Moerland

Making Time
Pip Laurenson