Collecting and Conserving Performance Art

Collecting and Conserving Performance Art

The two-and-a-half day event approaches issues surrounding the acquisition of performance art by bringing together conservators, curators, art historians, artists, collectors, researchers, art educators and other professionals, who are involved in the production, distribution, collection, documentation and conservation of performance art. 

Collecting and Conserving Performance Art (Wolfsburg, 9-11 Jun 2016)

Registration open!
International Symposium “Collecting and Conserving Performance Art”,
Wolfsburg/Germany, June 9-11, 2016

The German Association of Conservator-Restorers (VDR) is delighted to announce the major international symposium “Collecting and Conserving Performance Art”, to be hosted by the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany on June 9—11, 2016.



- Reception and Life Performance (Day 1): Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Hollerplatz 1, 38440 Wolfsburg/ Germany
- Symposium (Day 2 and Day 3): Alvar-Aalto-Kulturhaus, Porschestr. 51, 38440 Wolfsburg/ Germany

DAY 1 -Thursday, June 9

Conference Opening and Reception

Welcome, Dr. Ralf Beil (Director, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg)

Introduction Roman Ondak, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Curator, Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin

Live Performance “Swap” (2011) by Roman Ondak

DAY 2 - Friday, June 10


Welcome, Dr. Ralf Beil (Director, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg), Andrea Sartorius (Conservator, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, and Chair, Specialty Group “Modern Art and Cultural Heritage”, German Association of Conservators-Restorers (Verband der Restauratoren, VDR))

The Medium Performance
Moderator: Andrea Sartorius


Collecting as Artistic and Documentary Practice: Towards a Fluid Access to Artefacts of/in Performance - Dr. Barbara Büscher (Professor, Felix Mendelssohn School of Music, Department of Dramaturgy and Media, Leipzig) & Dr. Franz Anton Cramer (Department of Studies in Music and Dance, Paris Lodron University Salzburg)


Between Media. Connections between Performance and Installation Art and their Implications for the Conservation of Performances - Dr. Tiziana Caianiello (Art Historian, ZERO Foundation)

11:00-11:30  Coffee

Collecting Live Performance
Moderator: Ulrich Lang


Collecting Live Performance at the Guggenheim Museum - Joanna Phillips (Conservator, Time-based Media, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) & Lauren Hinkson (Assistant Curator, Collections, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum)


Assembling the Body, Reactivating Presence: Collecting, Processing, and Conserving Performance at The Museum of Modern Art - Athena Christa Holbrook (Collection Specialist, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art)


Panel Discussion: Collecting Live Performance with artist Roman Ondak, performer Sämi Moor, Joanna Phillips, Lauren Hinkson, and Athena Christa Holbrook
Moderator: Ulrich Lang, Conservator, Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt

13:00-14:30 Lunch

Documenting Live Performance
Moderator: Esther Rapoport


Report from the Audience. An Analysis regarding the Documentation of Performance Art by means of multi-perspective Witness Reports - Bruna Casagrande (Conservator and Research Assistant, Berne University of Fine Arts, Switzerland)


Participatory Documentation, or: How to mark Authenticity within a Documentary Record - Irene Müller (Art Historian and Curator, Zürich)

A Fly on the Wall or the Elephant in the Room: the Role of the Photographer in the Production and Viewing of Photographic Documentation from Performance Art Events - Dr. Dave Kemp (Photographer and Assistant Professor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

16:00-16:30 Coffee

Archiving Performance Art
Moderator: Gunnar Heydenreich


Archiving Performance Art in Asia - David Smith (Head of Digital, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong)


The Legalities of Authenticity and Performance Art - Jean E. Brown (Teaching Fellow, Northumbria University, UK) & Charles Danby Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Northumbria University, UK


Panel Discussion: Documenting and Archiving Performance Art
With Bruna CAsagrande, Irene Müller, Dave Kemp, David Smith, Jean E. Brown and Charles Danby
Moderator: Gunnar Heydenreich (Professor for Conservation of Contemporary Art, Cologne University of Applied Sciences)


DAY 3 - Saturday, June 11

 8:30-9:30  Registration

Performance Relics
Moderator: Anna-Catharina Gebbers


From Action to Object. On the Preservation and Conservation of Performance Art Relics - Dr. Carolin Bohlmann (Conservator, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin) & Ina Hausmann (Freelance Conservator) & Berlin Eva Rieß (Conservator, Müller Rieß Welther Restoration, Berlin)


The variable and changing Status of Performance Art Relics and Artifacts in Museum Collections - Louise Nicole Cone (Conservator of Contemporary Art and Sculpture, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark)


Capturing Ephemerality: Documentation of Carolee Schneemann’s Performance Work - Rachel Rivenc (Conservation Scientist, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles) & Anja Foerschner (Art historian, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles)

11:00-11:30  Coffee

Reenactment and Reperformance
Moderator: Eva Rieß


Restoration of Experience. Analysis of the Reenactment of the Performance “Change. My Problem Is a Problem of a Woman”, by Ewa Partum, 1974 - Elzbieta Wysocka (Conservator and Archivist, Filmotheka Narodowa, Warsaw)


Between Authenticity and Context: Challenges of preserving and re-enacting Performance Artworks from Dictatorship and Revolutionary Periods - Hélia Marcal (PhD Fellow in Conservation and Restoration, Department of Conservation and Restoration, Faculty of Science and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal) & Rita Macedo (Professor of Contemporary Art History and Documentation, Art History Institute, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal)


Reperformance Strategies for the Reiteration of Tino Sehgal's "This Is So Contemporary" - Jessye Wdowin McGregor (Artist and Conservator, Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne, Australia) & Robert Lane (Research Fellow, Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, The University of Melbourne, Australia)

13:00-14:30  Lunch


Panel Discussion: Managing Authenticity - Curatorial Strategies of Reenactment and Reperformance Anna-Catharina Gebbers in conversation with Tiziana Caianiello, Barbara Büscher, Franz Anton Cramer and  Irene Müller



Open Floor Discussion with the Audience
Moderator: Joanna Phillips


Over the last decade, art collections and museums around the world have seen a rapid increase in the acquisition of historic and contemporary performance art and its relics. This emerging collection practice challenges artists and collection caretakers alike: How can the time- and site-specific experience of an artist’s live performance be expanded and transformed into an artwork with a sustainable collection life? What status do performance props and documentary materials hold within a collection, and how is their status determined? How can the artwork’s identity and integrity be preserved and experienced now and in the future? What information and components should be entering the collection to ensure the authentic reactivation of the work? How are copyright laws, artist’s rights and future interpreter’s rights accounted for in the acquisition contract? What are the vulnerabilities inherent to a performance artwork? And how are preservation risks identified, documented and responded to?

The two-and-a-half day event approaches issues surrounding the acquisition of performance art by bringing together conservators, curators, art historians, artists, collectors, researchers, art educators and other professionals, who are involved in the production, distribution, collection, documentation and conservation of performance art. Perspectives on heritage development and documentation in adjacent disciplines, such as theater and dance, are invited to inform the discussion. Under investigation will be a variety of existing practices for bringing an artist’s live performance into a collection, including the license to re-perform the work based on an artist-provided score; film and video recordings of historic or recent performance iterations; autonomous art installations; documentation created by former audiences, participants and producers; and performance props and other objects that represent the live event.



Registration fees before April 30:
200,00 € VDR/SKR/ÖRV Member;
240,00 € Non-Member;
80,00 € VDR/SKR/ÖRV Student Member; 
120,00 € Non-Member Student

Registration fees after April 30:
240,00 € VDR/SKR/ÖRV Member;
280,00 € Non-Member;
120,00 € VDR/SKR/ÖRV Student-Member;
160,00 € Non-Member Student

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the conference committee:

Source: H-ArtHist Mailing List