Conservation of Modern and Contemporary Art
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The subject of study Conservation of Modern and Contemporary Art was established with its own professorship in 2005 to accommodate specific demands in the preservation of current art forms.
Artistic concepts and modes of expression have become increasingly complex over the last few decades and an enormous variety of new materials, production methods and techniques have been introduced to artistic processes: voluminous installations, combinations of materials, synthetic materials and industrial production technology, process-related elements, technical and electronic components and storage media will pose new challenges to a conservator. Conceptual art, ephemeral art forms and Eat Art may demand new conservation strategies. Specific issues of such works include limited durability respectively the instability of individual components.
Artists’ individual and frequently changing working methods make it necessary to develop innovative strategies for the care and preservation of these works. More often, established conservation methods and the classical principles of restoration ethics are inapplicable. New concepts are developed on the basis of case studies and basic research. Preventive conservation is exceptionally important.
The preservation of such complex artworks requires a comprehensive knowledge of a variety of materials and techniques, the critical interpretation of reports, special forms of documentation, artist interviews, examination and research. Essential aspects are an understanding of working processes and artistic intention as well as due consideration of the meaning of the materials employed.
The contents of the course will be conveyed both theoretically and practically based on an interdisciplinary cooperation with cultural studies and science, artists and fine arts’ students at the academy.
The subject of study focuses on a confrontation with complex material combinations and three-dimensional works in regard to artistic process, preservation and documentation; further areas of study include the material techniques of and the problems posed by modern paintings as well as the fundamentals of preserving media art. The expertise gained by students will enable them to oversee and care for collections and exhibitions and act in an advisory capacity on artistic projects. Furthermore, the drafting of conservation concepts, their practical implementation and the evaluation of treatments are also core elements of the course.
Students will successfully complete 4 semesters basic training in one of the traditional fields before commencing with their specialisation in the conservation and restoration of modern and contemporary art.