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Subject: Seminar on theory and semantics of installation art

Seminar on theory and semantics of installation art

From: Karen Baldock <karen.baldock>
Date: Thursday, February 9, 2006
"Theory and Semantics of Installation Art"
Thursday 11 May 2006
Bonnefanten Museum
Avenue Ceramique 250
Maastricht, The Netherlands

The seminar is part of the European project Inside Installations:
Preservation and Presentation of Installation Art. It has been
organised by the Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art
(SBMK) in collaboration with Instituut Collectie Nederland (ICN) and
is kindly hosted by the Bonnefanten Museum.

To attend, please contact

    Paulien 't Hoen
    SBMK coordinator
    info [at] sbmk__nl

by Monday 1 May 2006.

Installation works of art are distinct from traditional art objects
and demonstrate specific vulnerabilities in terms of both the
contexts and the technologies on which they are dependent. To
safeguard these works for future generations, traditional approaches
to long-term conservation, documentation and presentation are being
challenged by professionals in the field.

One of the most difficult theoretical (and practical) issues of
installation art is the notion of 'the original'; particularly in
the case of site-specific installations.

    What is essential to determining origins and authenticity of the

    What parts of it should be preserved, transformed or re-created?

    How to identify the 'original' work when reproducible media are
    involved, such as video, and the artist is using (parts of) the
    original work in future editions?

Other questions that arise are:

    How to identify 'craftsmanship' where new technologies are being
    used in contemporary art?

    How to identify the public's (interactive) participation when
    the work undergoes changes in the course of time?

    What is the museum's role when it interacts as intermediate
    between the artist and the public?

Another problem is the lack of a 'common language' to describe
installation art. As with contemporary art in general, new concepts
are being introduced and new ways of thinking are developed rapidly.
This 'sliding semantic scale' presents a challenge to the
international conservation community who recognises the need for
exchanging knowledge and information.

These and other issues will be explored by experts from diverse
professional backgrounds, in the form of lectures, 'statements' on
specific themes and a panel discussion. Speakers include:

    Martha Buskirk, M.I.T. lecturer in art history and criticism and
    author of The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art, on
    authenticity and authorship in modern and contemporary art.

    Marga van Mechelen, University of Amsterdam lecturer and has
    published widely on conceptual, performance and installation art
    since the late seventies and on issues concerning historiography
    and visual theory in general and visual semiotics and
    psycho-semiotics in particular.

    Pip Laurenson, Senior Conservator, Time-Based Media, Tate

    Cornelia Weyer, Conservator and Director, Restaurierungszentrum

    Artist Suchan Kinoshita will discuss her experiences in regard
    to research that has been carried out within the Inside
    Installations project on two of her works.

Inside Installations: Preservation and Presentation of Installation
Art started on 1 June 2004 and is a research project initiated by
Instituut Collectie Nederland (ICN) into the management and
conservation of installations. It is supported by the European
Commission's Culture 2000 programme. Thirty complex installations
(many multimedia) will be re-installed, investigated and documented.
By sharing their experience the partners work together to develop
guidelines for conservation, re-installation and documentation of
installation art. ICN is coordinator of the project which is
co-organised by: Tate, London; Restaurierungszentrum, Dusseldorf;
Stedelijk Museum for Modern Art (SMAK), Ghent; Museo Nacional Centro
de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid and the Foundation for the Conservation
of Modern Art (SBMK) in The Netherlands. The project runs through
May 31, 2007.

Karen Baldock
Project coordination INCCA
afdeling Onderzoek / Research Department
Instituut Collectie Nederland
PO Box 76709, 1070 KA Amsterdam
+31 20 305 47 15
Fax +31 20 305 47 00

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:38
                 Distributed: Monday, February 20, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-38-013
Received on Thursday, 9 February, 2006

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