Anna Schäffler: The Art of Preservation, book presentation and discussion (online)

Jules Pelta Feldman's picture
December 21, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Archival Science, Fine Arts, Historic Preservation, World History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Anna Schäffler: The Art of Preservation (book presentation and discussion)

Wednesday, December 21, 17:00-18:30 Central European Time (online)

This lecture, which will take place on Zoom, features a presentation of Schäffler’s recent book, The Art of Preservation: Anna Oppermann’s Ensembles, Contemporary Conservation and Artists Estates in Transition (Die Kunst der Erhaltung. Anna Oppermanns Ensembles, zeitgenössische Restaurierung und Nachlasspraxis im Wandel (Munich: edition metzel, 2021)). Note: Though the book is in German, the event will be in English.

Today’s challenges in dealing with the legacy of contemporary artists require new structural models for preservation and are leading to a radical shift of our western memory culture. Based on her own experience of working with the estate of German conceptual artist Anna Oppermann (1943-1992) Anna Schäffler argues that rather than conserve once and forever a given material state, we need new, cooperative forms of preservation that allow for the further evolution and change of a work of art in line with the artistic concept. In the wake of the dissolution of the arts in the 1960s the kind of preservation she proposes amounts to a new dissolution: Given that so-called “networks of care” take on preservation tasks leads to a profound restructuring of museums in their function as repositories of memory and reveals the instituent potential of contemporary art preservation. In elevating preservation to a condition of contemporary art, Anna suggests a radical perspective on preservation practices enabling the contemporaneity of contemporary art in the atomic age.

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Jules Pelta Feldman

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