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Subject: Conference on conservation of contemporary art

Conference on conservation of contemporary art

From: Alison Muir <>
Date: Friday, June 29, 2001
Contemporary Art: Creation, Curation, Collection and Conservation
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland
September 21-22, 2001

This conference aims to bring together conservators, artists,
curators, collectors, dealers and the interested public to consider
the issues surrounding the use of new materials and practices in
contemporary art.

>From film, plastics and media deliberately chosen to be perishable,
to the salvaged materials of "Outsider" artists, the use of new and
unconventional media provides an aesthetic and ethical challenge, to
artists, collectors, conservators and audiences alike.

In the hope of promoting discussion and circulating knowledge,
practising artists, museum curators and professional conservators
will voice their opinions and share their experiences of creating,
conserving and working with new materials in contemporary art.

The conference will address the following issues:

Creation: Contemporary artists work in a wide array of media ranging
from high-tech digital equipment to temporary or perishable matter
that will inevitably deteriorate with time. While transience is
sometimes intended, the impermanence of other materials may only
emerge with time. What fate do artists intend for works that have a
finite life span and can conservation impinge upon the artist's
rights as creator?

Curation: The diverse nature of contemporary art creates new
challenges for curators who must be prepared to exhibit works
involving high-tech digital media, art made from unconventional
materials and works whose physical fragility, while an intrinsic
part of their creation, puts their survival into question. Curators
must also consider the interaction between contemporary art and its
audience and take into consideration the public reception of art
made in unfamiliar or unexpected media.

Collection: The use of new or unconventional media poses many
practical and ethical questions for both public art institutions and
the private collector. For instance, how can public institutions
justify acquisitions that have a finite life span or include
elements that require periodic replacement? Can private collectors
afford to invest in art works that may literally deteriorate before
their eyes? Should museums accept donations or loans of works so
fragile that they require conservation each time they are displayed?
And what should be done with a work that is irreversibly
deteriorating, or damaged beyond repair?

Conservation: The conservation and preservation of contemporary art
brings with it many unprecedented technical and ethical questions.
How can conservators keep up to date with new developments, and what
practical and ethical problems occur when dealing with work that was
not intended to last and creators who are still available for

Speakers to include:

    Catherine Marshall
    (Curator, Irish Museum of Modern Art)
    Agony and ecstasy; collecting and curating modern art

    Rachel Barker
    (Conservator of 20th Century Art, Tate Modern, London)
    Conservation of modern art: a lifetime to consider

    Riann Coulter
    (Fellow in Outsider Art, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin)
    Outsider art

    Brenda Keneghan
    (Polymer Scientist, Victoria and Albert Museum, London)
    Synthetic plastic objects in museums and galleries

    Zoe Reid
    (Paper Conservator, National Gallery of Ireland)
    Contemporary works on paper: demands and limitations

    Stella Coffey
    (Artists' Association of Ireland), Niamh McGuinne (Paper
    Conservator, National Gallery of Ireland), Pat McLean (Rights
    and Reproductions Officer, Ulster Museum)
    Protecting the integrity of impermanent art

    Mary McCarthy
    (National Sculpture Factory, Cork)
    Public art

    Alice Mayer

    Declan McGonigal
    (founding director of Irish Museum of Modern Art)

    Nigel Rolfe
    (Professor of Fine Art, Royal College of Art, London)

    Linda Scales
    (copyright lawyer)

The programme will include a visit to the recently opened Francis
Bacon Studio in the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Parnell Square,
Dublin 1.

    Barbara Dawson
    (Director, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery)
    Issues surrounding the acquisition of the Francis Bacon Studio

    Mary McGrath
    The deconstruction of the Francis Bacon Studio and its
    relocation in Dublin

    Joanna Shepard
    (Conservator, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery)
    Care of artefacts from the Francis Bacon Studio at the Hugh Lane

The two day meeting will take place on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd
September 2001 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital
Kilmainham, Dublin.

Conference fee:
    Before 15th August 2001 UKP80 Irish or UKP70 Sterling;
    after 15th August 2001 UKP90 Irish or UKP80 Sterling

A limited number of reduced rates will be available for students and
artists. For further details contact Registration Secretary.

The fee covers: Attendance at the two day meeting Delegates pack
Tea, coffee and light lunch on both days Transport to and from IMMA
to the Hugh Lane Gallery on Saturday 22nd September

For further details and registration form, contact Registration

    Alison Muir, IPCRA,
    Department of Conservation
    Ulster Museum
    Botanic Gardens
    Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 5AB
    +44 28 90 383083
    Email: [at] nics__gov__uk

Organisers: Irish Professional Conservators' and Restorers'


    The Heritage Council
    The British Council
    The Office of Public Works

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:7
                   Distributed: Friday, June 29, 2001
                        Message Id: cdl-15-7-011
Received on Friday, 29 June, 2001

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