The first ArtMatters / International Journal for Technical Art History Special Issue examines critical issues related to the often protracted and distributed making of contemporary artworks, within and alongside their care, conservation and display. It presents papers based on presentations from two symposia organised in 2017 by the University of Glasgow and in 2018 by the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art (NACCA). The contributors draw upon diverse theoretical frameworks from anthropology to ethnography, organisational theory, semiotics, sociology, gender studies, feminist theory and new materialism, among others. They critically examine the implications of an expanded notion of making for the custodianship and perpetuation of contemporary artworks.
Across the various contributions, the authors reflect on the processes of knowledge production that surround the making and conservation of contemporary art. The papers consider how this produced and synthesised knowledge informs our sense of the artworks’ identities, and how these identities are not static or absolute but mediated, situated and often closely connected to the processes of (re)making and the artworks’ materiality. These expanded ideas of knowledge-making and identity formation in relation to contemporary art objects are also explored in the context of the actors and networks that enable their continuation, revealing the negotiated and contingent nature of their objecthood.
Editors: Brian Castriota, Erma Hermens, Gunnar Heydenreich, Zoë Miller and Dominic Paterson
Contributors: Brian Castriota, Zoë Miller, Ariane Noël de Tilly, Nina Quabeck, Artemis Rüstau, Cailtin Spangler-Bickell, Aga Wielocha, Hélia Marçal, Hanna Hölling, Rebecca Gordon, Tiziana Caianello, Marta Garcia Celma, Iona Goldie-Scot