Preserving Liveliness

16.12.2022, 9h – 18h

Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, Conference room

Conference on the Handling of Processual, Organic and Living Materials in Contemporary Art.

Concept: Carolin Bohlmann (IKR) and Katja Sterflinger (INTK), a cooperation of the Studio of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Institute for Conservation-Restoration, and the Institute for Science and Technology in Art of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

The questions of how we deal with living, processual materials, and artistic works that address transience, processes, movement, performativity, and fragility have increasingly preoccupied the field of conservation-restoration in recent years. More and more artists are working with organic materials. Plants, soils, bacteria, and fungi are increasingly used as artistic materials. For conception, realization, and supervision, natural scientists and conservators become co-workers of artistic projects. These collaborative aspects, as well as the museum reception of ephemeral and living materials and works will be discussed in the workshop with colleagues and students from various disciplines. Collaboration with natural scientists, climatologists, pest control specialists, etc. is urgently needed in order to address the conservation issues of how the artistic works can be exhibited, received, documented in the context of the collection, and preserved. The recorded care of the objects, as well as the position of the museum, should be critically reflected with regard to climate discussion and sustainability. Confronted with the challenges that artworks made of organic materials and biological processes pose for production and conservation, but also for dealing with possible health risks when handling biological material, cooperation with the specialists involved is essential.

Coline Ardouin, Bern
Anne Biber, MAK, Vienna
Carlin Bohlmann, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Tina Hierl, mumok, Vienna
Ina Jessen, Dieter Roth Museum, Hamburg
Margit Laimer, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Pascale Querner, Natural History Museum Vienna
Regine Rapp, Art Laboratory Berlin
Katja Sterflinger, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Franziska Weinberger, Vienna

For further information on the program, consult this page.


Cover image from Špela Petrič: Phytoteratology, 2016, Installation (Detail), Art Laboratory Berlin, 2020, photo: Tim Deussen