Viral Images. Exploring the historic and conservation challenges of objects created for social protest and solidarity - a new IIC Point of the Matter Dialogue

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Protest art - a matter for Dialogue

The International Institute for Conservation (IIC) invites you to register for our free* Point of the Matter Dialogue on: Viral Images. Exploring the historic and conservation challenges of objects created for social protest and solidarity

Historic events of the past years have highlighted art as a creative means of social expression as well as a powerful tool used during social protests. A few images and words scribbled on a collection of post-it-notes or a graphically designed phrase captured in a Tweet heard around the world have had an unexpectedly lasting influence. But what happens to the art work when the protesters leave? Was it ever intended to be collected or preserved? Is there precedence for archiving these ephemeral materials? Who is collecting them? How do we preserve the intent and impact of these creative works for posterity? Archiving this form of cultural heritage presents many challenges.

The dialogue will take place on Tuesday February 14, 2017 from 2:30-5:00pm in the Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall of the Uris Educational Center of the Metropolitan Museum of Art ( 5th Avenue & 82nd Street, New York City, New York, USA). There is no charge to attend.


  • Aaron Bryant, Mellon Curator of Photography at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Michael Gould-Wartofsky, sociologist and author of “The Occupiers. The Making of the 99% Movement”
  • Christian Scheidemann, conservator and founder of Contemporary Conservation Ltd.
  • Gregory Sholette, founding member of Political Art Documentation/Distribution and Associate Professor, Sculpture and co-founder of Social Practice Queens(Queens College, City University of New York)
  • Lidia Uziel, Head of the Western Languages Division (WLD) and Bibliographer for Western Europe, Harvard Library
  • Dr. Ralph Young, Professor of History, Temple University and author of “Dissent: The History of an American Idea” and “ Make Art Not War: Political Protest Posters from the Twentieth Century”

Space is limited, so please register to receive your admittance ticket on our Eventbrite page for this event by click ‘Register Now’ below.

Register Now!

* A limited number of reserved seats are available in advance for a minimal $5 administration fee. All other ticketed seating will be unreserved, with open seating available the day of the event. Please visit our Evenbrite page (link above) for further details.

We hope to see you there!

Amber Kerr and Rebecca Rushfield, IIC Dialogue Organizers