/ Introduction. Art In Process On The Unbearable Lightness Of Being? Preservation, Conservation And Restoration Of Works Of Contemporary Art Cover Image

Wprowadzenie. Sztuka W Procesie O Nieznośnej Lekkości Bytu? Ochrona, Konserwacja I Restauracja Dzieł Sztuki Współczesnej
/ Introduction. Art In Process On The Unbearable Lightness Of Being? Preservation, Conservation And Restoration Of Works Of Contemporary Art

Author(s): Iwona Szmelter
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts
Published by: Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku
Keywords: Introduction; Art In Process On The Unbearable Lightness Of Being?; Preservation; Conservation; Restoration; Works Of Contemporary Art

Summary/Abstract: INTRODUCTION, ART IN PROCESS: “ON THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING”? PRESERVATION, CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION OF WORKS OF CONTEMPORARY ART The reader of this collection of papers is invited to a meeting with contemporary art and its protection, archives, documentation, elements of a new conservation theory and conservation practice - all of which are intended as a remedy for the impermanence of the most modern art forms. The question mark after the titular “unbearable lightness of being” paraphrases the overwhelming existential anxiety of Milan Kundera's prose, but this question goes beyond the literary source. It concerns holistically the art and the meaning of human existence, a reflection on ‘where we are coming from and where we are heading’ and ‘for what reason’ we exist. It also expresses, however, another form of anxiety, in this case concerning the contrast between the alleged ease of creation of works of contemporary artists and the difficulties inherent in the preservation of their art. This is increased by the fact that the contemporary work of visual art is a unit composed of many elements, and they are combined in a way that is much more complicated than in the work of older, traditional, forms of art. Visual arts in their ‘unbearable lightness of being’ arise today by processes that have no conceptual and material limitations and they can therefore have a wide range of material compositions. Ensuring the continued existence and durability of such art is burdened with the attention that conservators are obliged to devote to the preservation of the integrity of the works, their underlying ideas and meanings, the artist’s message, the significance of the original (and often unknown) material used to create the works and the possibilities of reconstruction. Such a framework of care goes beyond the meaning of art as a thing or object with an intellectual context, because it concerns visual art that is participant in a constant process. New tasks have been created that are a result of the diversity of the heritage of the visual arts, such as conservation through documentation, authorized interviews with artists, archiving of material remnants of ephemeral art, possible agreement to reconstruction of emulation or imitation, or re-enactment in the case of performance and others. These new tasks are a kind of ‘process in art’. This ‘processing’ has various dimensions, from the preservation of art, despite the ‘unbearable impermanence’ of its matter, to the processes of its reconstruction and exhibition. Multidisciplinary conservation, incorporating the duties of the custodian and curator into its tasks, becomes an advocate for the art and the artist's legacy and defending the integrity of artistic works.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 17
  • Page Range: 4-5
  • Page Count: 2
  • Language: English, Polish