PRACTICs of Contemporary Art: The Future

2009 - 2011

Practices, Research, Access, Collaboration, Teaching In Conservation of contemporary art.

May 1st 2009 marks the start of a new two-year European project for interdisciplinary collaborative research, sharing knowledge and learning about the conservation of contemporary art. PRACTICs stands for excellence and innovation in conservation research, a profound will to share knowledge and experiences and continuous collaboration in knowledge development and education. 34 leading European museums, institutions and universities join hands to assess and implement knowledge gained through European projects of the last decade. In addition, this project will set the course for key issues of conservation, preservation, education and public access to conservation.

The project aims are:
– Increase the level of excellence and interdisciplinary research between conservators, curators, artists, technicians and teachers throughout Europe by sharing good practices;
– Increase public appreciation of contemporary art and conservation;
– Stimulate collaboration between educational programs in conservation;
– Facilitate continuous collaboration by establishing network groups affiliated to the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art  | INCCA.

The project is managed by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) and co-organised by five other European organisations that in turn collaborate with (national) partners. Co-organisers are: Tate, England; Restaurierungzentrum Düsseldorf, Germany; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Spain; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK), Belgium and the Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK), The Netherlands. This group of co-organisers also collaborated on the successful project Inside Installations (2004-2007).

Because of the multi-facetted and heterogeneous challenges of contemporary art conservation the current trend is diversity of practices. During PRACTICs, knowledge gained from previous international and regional projects will be shared and complemented with case studies on the most urgent issues of contemporary art conservation: installation art, documentation, artists’ participation, decision-making, research and education.

‘Newcomers’, associated partners from Central-East and Southern Europe, Baltic States and Scandinavia, will be introduced to the existing network. Public access to conservation is a central focus point in public discussions and lectures. At least three multimedia museum visitors’ tours on the making and conservation of contemporary art will be created and used participating museums. Good practice documents, an international congress, seminars, the publication Inside Installations and a project website will be other results of this collaboration.

The international symposium Contemporary Art: Who Cares?, planned to take place in Amsterdam, 9-11 June 2010 will be just one of the highlights of this project.

PRACTICs is supported by the Culture Programme (2007-2013) of the European Commission and the Mondriaan Foundation.

related activities
Contemporary Art: Who Cares?

related publications
Inside Installations, Theory and Practice in the Care of Complex Artworks