6th Meeting “Fluid Material Processes: Curatorial, Conservational, and Artistic Challenges”

Department of Design and Media, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover, September 23–25, 2021

The focus of the working meeting is the question of what challenges the curatorial, conservational and artistic involvement with changeable materials and fluid material processes entails. What are the consequences for the cultural practices of exhibiting, preserving, and designing if we deal with open material events and processes of material change rather than closed objects and things? How, for example, could ephemeral material phenomena be documented as processes, and in what form could they be preserved? What curatorial means could be used to make global material flows or barely perceptible material transformations tangible, and how could a material knowledge of the fluid be imparted? What aesthetic strategies would be suitable for dealing with fluid, volatile, and changeable materials? In what way would it be possible to make visible the complex ecological interactions and diverse entanglements of materials, i.e. interrelations that go far beyond the museum, the restoration workshop, and the studio?

On Thursday, October 23, 2021, the members of the research network will visit the exhibition “Oil. Beauty and Horror of the Petrol Age” at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. The exhibition was curated by our fellow network member Benjamin Steininger, together with Alexander Klose (research collective Beauty of Oil). On Friday, September 24, 2021, we will discuss with conservators Pamela Bannher (Sprengel-Museum, Hanover) and Hanna Hölling (University College London) as well as with artist and researcher Hugo Fortes (University of São Paulo) about the artistic and conservation challenges of fluid, ephemeral, and mutable materials.


Reading Material

Bohlmann, Carolin: „Vergänglich für die Ewigkeit? Zur musealen Konservierung des Ephemeren“, in: Paragrana, vol. 27, no. 2, 2018, pp. 99–114.

Domínguez Rubio, Fernando: Still Life. Ecologies of the Modern Imagination at the Art Museum, Chicago 2020, pp. 1–27.

Groys, Boris: „Die Restaurierung des Zerfalls“, in: Groys, Boris: Die Logik der Sammlung: Am Ende des musealen Zeitalters, Munich 1997, pp. 197–204.

Hölling, Hanna: „The Technique of Conservation: On Realms of Theory and Cultures of Practice”, in: Journal of the Institute of Conservation, vol. 40, no. 2, 2017, pp. 87–96.

Hölling, Hanna: “Time and Conservation”, in: Theory and History of Conservation. ICOM-CC. 18th Triennial Conference, 2017, pp. 1–7.

Saaze, Vivian van: Installation Art and the Museum: Presentation and Conservation of Changing Artworks, Amsterdam 2013, pp. 17–26, 36–37, 48–59.