The “explicit material” approach wishes to advance a way of thinking about the materiality of objects as they enter our collections and undergo a transformation from their previous context(s) to a museological one. This session invites an interdisciplinary dialogue to explore the relationships between curatorial and conservation philosophies across a range of institutions, focusing on the ways in which these apparently divergent fields shape thinking about—and the practices of—collecting, exhibiting, and caring for objects. The presentations cover a wide range of subject matter: from perishable media to medieval manuscripts, and from self-effacing photographs to films on museum collections, and myths about abstract expressionists. The conservators, scholars, curators and artist on the panel are in dialogue about questions of materiality, value, uniqueness, endurance and decay, and attempt to give a more nuanced voice to different forms of documentary evidence.
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