The conservation and restoration of works of contemporary artIt is characteristic of contemporary art that it uses a wide range of materials and techniques. This covers traditional media and modern-day supports, paintings and works of installation art, and much more. The artist is able to handle all the materials available in a way entirely his own. A variety of new media such as audiovisual and electronic elements are also employed in the creation of works of art, as is performance. In addition, these works of art frequently rely on the active involvement of the viewer and bring about an experience involving several senses (sight, sound, touch and smell).
As an institution with a responsibility for managing these works, remaining open to alternative solutions and making proper agreements with artists enables the works of art to be managed exactly as they should be. It is interesting to examine the work and to do this in the museum from various angles such as content, confrontations within exhibition concepts, the public and also historical meaning.
When it comes to conservation there are several possible approaches that may vary enormously. Whereas for one artist it is the process aspect of a work that is important, for another it may be changes in the material nature of the work that disrupts its meaning. For this reason, what artists say may often convey information of importance for handling the work.
On the basis of the museum’s history and its present dynamic practices, several forms of communication have arisen by which to converse with artists about their work. Artists are often interviewed or written correspondence with them initiated.