Skip to main content

Invitation to Defense of Markus Pescoller

Event Label
Organisational Units
Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Location Address (1)
Schillerplatz 3
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1010 Vienna
Location Room (1)

The Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna kindly invites you to the defense of Markus Pescoller's dissertation project Positionality and Relevance. On dealing with cultural property.

The Examination Panel is made up of: Univ.-Prof. Mag. PhD. Elke Krasny (chair), Em.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Baatz (first supervisor), Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil. Ruth Sonderegger (second supervisor), and Univ.-Lekt. Dozent Mag. Dr. Manfred Koller (external appraiser, University of Applied Arts, Vienna).


The aim of the study is to find out how we can jointly reach a decision on how to deal with cultural goods that is fair to its richness, through the informal and equal participation of all those affected today and – in an advocacy manner – in the future. Cultural property is understood in a comprehensive sense that does not only mean heritage protected by normative standards, but everything that has been produced by man, whether it be from solid, fluid or virtual material, whether it be stable or intentionally ephemeral, whether it be permanent or alive only through constant repetition.

In the first part of the study, a conceptual tool is developed which – in addition to the existing descriptive tools – helps us to understand what we are talking about when we talk about the opus. By separating the work into three different intentionalities, the intentio auctoris, the intentio operis and the intentio lectoris, three objects are constructed: the Generative, the Rigid, and the Narrative object. The basic thesis that only its sum, together with the generative sequence, i. e. the change in time by nature or by human intervention, constitutes the opus, is intended to correspond to the different broad perspectives, the generative, the rigid and the narrative. By linking the terms to the perspective of the actors, the assignment of terms is accompanied by a weighting that can be represented in a relevance matrix that indicates the current state of the significance relations of the broad perspectives and the parameters that construct them.

In the second part of the study, the opus constructed by actors, observers and narrators is discursively dissolved. By supplementing the rational discourse with a narrative discourse, the quest for the most appropriate decision is extended to all those who either have not learned the game of rational reasoning or are used to narrative traditions. However, inferential responsibility is demanded of all, in which every claim, every belief and every notion must be substantiated on request. In the transformation of dominant narratives into stories, the power of the narrative is also eroded. This lays the foundation for the ideal discourse, which itself is based on strong normative prerequisites. In conclusion, it is the central social principles, universality as a demand for equal participation of all affected people, reciprocity as mutual recognition of the demands of all others and the reversibility of one’s own perspective through reciprocal adoption of perspectives and role-taking that have the power to reach a decision based solely on the unforced of the better argument (Habermas) and therefore considers the work in all its richness. In the end, it is not judged whether the right or wrong decision and action was taken. Much more modestly is asked what should be told and how it should be told, or what those who intervened wanted to tell and whether the further narration that materialized in the intervention was only fulfilled, effective or even successful.

Short biography

Markus Pescoller, born on 02.09.1964
1983-1990 Studies of Art History at the Universities of Vienna and Innsbruck with a semiotic investigation of aesthetic rhetoric along the concepts of syntax, semantics and pragmatics on the basis of a painting on the life of St. Francis in the monastery in San Candido (graduated with a Mag.phil).
2001-2008 Further education studies in restoration at the Fernuniversität Hagen and at the HTW Berlin; diploma with a thesis on restoration and narrative
Since 2012 PhD student at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Prof. Wolfgang Baatz and Prof. Ruth Sonderegger
Since 2000 CEO of the restoration company Pescoller Werkstätten GmbH
Lectureships at various universities, speaker at various events and publications on various topics in restoration and monument conservation

Please join us for the defense presentation in room M20.

We are looking forward to welcoming you.