About the conference

Contemporary art conservation requires a re-assessment of the distinction between the work and its re-configuration in documentation.

Although documentation is crucial for the survival of many contemporary works of art, it is never neutral: all approaches, formats, media and systems have their own inherent affordances and blind spots and always transform what they document. Furthermore, in process-centered, technology-based or performative artworks in particular, we often can no longer make a sharp distinction between an original work and its subsequent documentation or replication: documentation is part of the work’s very core.

On the other hand, even the most meticulously documented works will need to be re-installed or re-performed regularly in order to survive, because otherwise important tacit know-how will get lost.

The role of the artist in this process is central, but contested: what if s/he changes her mind, loses interest or is no longer available? And what if the authorship of the work is distributed over several actors? Also, the role of the conservator has taken new dimensions: conservation responsibilities and tasks are now distributed over a diversity of agents.

Performing Documentation in the Conservation of Contemporary Art is jointly organized by the research project Documentation of Contemporary Art and the Network for Conservation of Contemporary Art Research (NeCCAR).

Scientific committee

Renée van de Vall (UM), Vivian van Saaze (UM), Gunnar Heydenreich (CiCS), Rita Macedo (FCT-IHA-UNL), Lúcia Almeida Matos (IHA-UNL/FBAUP)

Local organisation committee

Rita Macedo, Lúcia Almeida Matos, Cristina Oliveira, Andreia Nogueira, Hélia Marçal, Teresa Azevedo


View presentations from the conference

Renée van de Vall An Introductory Talk on NeCCAR

Gabriella Giannachi Documenting the User Experience: From Blast Theory’s Rider Spoke to RAMM’s Moor Studies and Tate’s Art Maps

Liliana Coutinho The Role of Artistic Documentation in Conserving and Convey Social Relationships

Rebecca Gordon Documenting Performance and Performing Documentation: On the Interplay of Documentation and Authenticity

Irene Müller Performing Art, Its Documentation, Its Archives – On the Need of Memories, the Quality of Blind Spots and New Approaches to Transmitting Performance Art

Ana Dinger Constructing Continuity: Considerations on the Perpetuation of Performance-Based Artworks

Allessandra Barbuto The Museum Role: Preserving, Documenting and Acquiring Performance

Kinga Olesiejuk The Modality of Documentations as Conjunction of Contemporary Conservation and Artistic Practices

Vivian van Saaze In the Absence of Documentation: Refelections on the Practice of Remembrance

Jo Ana Morfin Reactivation Strategies for Unstable Events

Rita Macedo and Lúcia Almeida Matos Documentation of Contemporary Art Project Presentation

Andreia Nogueira and Hélia Marçal Performativity in Conservation: The Challenges of Documenting Francisco Tropa’s Oeuvre 

Christina Barros Oliveira Suddenly Butterflies! Documenting Life through Marta de Menezez Nature?

Renée van de Vall Documenting Dilemmas: On the Relevance of Ethnically Ambiguous Cases

Jan Marontate Analysing Incommensurable Values in Contemporary Art Documentation: Insights from Cultural Sociology

Sanneke Stigter Co-producing Conceptual art – A Conservator’s Testimony on Working with Jan Dibbets

Ursula Haller, Erich Gantzert-Castrillo and Ivo Mohrmann artemak®. From a Compilation of Questionnaires… to a Wiki-Based Online Platform… to an Interdisciplinary Documentation and Research Project

Katrien Blanchaert Documenting Evolving Artworks: A Case Study

Paolo Gili, Antonio Rava and Maria Teresa Roberto Pinot Gallizio’s Large-Format Canvases: Paintings Without Stretching Device and the Importance of Documentation for the Respect of the Anomaly of Modernist Paintings

Claudio Marchese, Federica Pace and Rita Salis Documenting La Mararana Arte Ambientale’s Works of Art: Cataloguing Conservation and Interviews

Siska Genbrugge Lost Line: A Case Study Documenting Contemporary art at LACMA

Julia Noordegraaf Documenting the Analogue Past in Marijke van Warmerdam’s Film Installations

Annet Dekker The Quest for the Survival of Net Art, or a Speculative Approach to Documentation

Andreia Magalhães Films in Art Museums: in a Troubled Position Between the Archive and the Collection

Teresa Azevedo In-Between Places: Ângela Ferreira’s Double-Sided, 19962012

Glenn Wharton Public Access in the Age of Documented Art