Contemporary Art Conservation: Ethics and Quandaries with Dr. Alison Bracker


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

The history of art comprises artworks that have survived through the ages. But what will future generations see or know of seminal 20th-and-21st-century art featuring non-traditional materials? Flowers, food, blood, grass, animals, fluorescent lightbulbs, time-based media, and other unusual materials often describe and enact mortality or unexpectedly trigger an artwork's demise. Moreover, they force artists, collectors, and conservators to wrestle with such objects' definition, acquisition, display, and care. 
Our seminar introduces the ethical issues facing today's creators and guardians of cultural history. Using case studies of ephemeral artworks, we'll contemplate the questions contemporary art conservators confront daily, including What constitutes the object? Which elements convey its meaning? What is its predicted lifespan, and why does that matter? Who should determine its care or re-creation: The artist (or their estate) or the conservator?
Led by Dr. Alison Bracker, an art historian specializing in the ethical conservation of contemporary art, this conversation will consider artworks conceptually and materially. We will grapple with the questions that arise for artists, buyers, and conservators whenever a museum or private collector decides, "I'll take it." Participants will come away with an increased understanding of why we risk losing evidence and our comprehension of 20th-21st-century visual culture unless we pay attention to the issues it provokes. 
To experience this interactive series in more depth, we invite you to explore:

Dr. Alison Bracker is an independent art historian specializing in the conservation of unusual materials in contemporary art. She co-edited Conservation: Principles, Dilemmas, and Uncomfortable Truths (Elsevier, 2009), praised as "one of the most significant books in the field of heritage conservation." Additionally, she has interviewed over 100 artists, curators, museum directors, and conservators about the ethics and issues arising from contemporary art conservation. Dr. Bracker also lectures and publishes on modern and contemporary artists more broadly, including Hugo Wilson, Lenz Geerk, Ai Weiwei, Anselm Kiefer, Édouard Manet, and David Hockney. Having spent her childhood in Los Angeles, she lived and worked in England for 25 years before settling in Nice, France.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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J
J. (Pittsburgh, US)
Fascinating

I so enjoyed this talk that touched on just a few of the many questions and issues that arise when dealing with the conservation of contemporary art. Dr Bracker highlighted three specific cases that gave you a sense of how complex and varied the problems can be when talking about this subject. I was fascinated by how individual artists, museums, and collectors view and react to some of these quandaries. This has expanded my horizons on how I respond and interact with contemporary art pieces. I know I will be asking myself questions that would have never crossed my mind had I not attended this talk. If you are interested in art, I highly recommend this seminar.

A
Anonymous (Porto Alegre, BR)

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Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J. (Pittsburgh, US)
Fascinating

I so enjoyed this talk that touched on just a few of the many questions and issues that arise when dealing with the conservation of contemporary art. Dr Bracker highlighted three specific cases that gave you a sense of how complex and varied the problems can be when talking about this subject. I was fascinated by how individual artists, museums, and collectors view and react to some of these quandaries. This has expanded my horizons on how I respond and interact with contemporary art pieces. I know I will be asking myself questions that would have never crossed my mind had I not attended this talk. If you are interested in art, I highly recommend this seminar.

A
Anonymous (Porto Alegre, BR)

Guest did not leave comment