Conservation Through Transformation: Keeping Performance Art Alive in the Museum Workshop

User menu

Monday, 7 June, 2021 - 12:00

Join the Conservation Through Transformation: Keeping Performance Art Alive in the Museum workshop taking place over two online sessions on June 7 and 11 at 12:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Instructors Louise Lawson and Hélia Marçal will draw on the practice of conservation developed at Tate to explore the material possibilities afforded by the care of performance art. The instructors will focus on their documentation processes to reflect on how the museum is situated in framing the documentation that is produced and the purposes of said documents. Participants will work through exercises of re-situating practices, where forms of data collection and analysis will be framed through case-studies and discussion, using key tools developed, as well as how to adapt these tools and develop bespoke strategies for their own institutions.

Documenting performance art seems to be a conundrum that is particularly hard to resolve. Tate started to collect this form of artistic practice in 2005 and has since acquired over 25 performance artworks that range from simple instruction-based works to performances that depend on bodily and material engagements that are hard to understand and even harder to capture. With the aim of safeguarding a whole collection to generations to come, the museum's structure is keen to create categories and other processes of standardization. However, performance art often challenges those standards and categories. What are the affordances of the museum to the documentation of performance art? And how can we re-situate museum practices to accommodate non-conforming bodies of practice? This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of the challenges that performance art poses to conservation professionals and recognize how performance art plays with notions of care, authenticity, sameness, and transformation.

The registration fee is $99. Register here: