The Variable and Changing Status of Performance Art Relics and Artifacts in Museum Collections

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The status of an artwork in a museum collection is variable and contingent upon factors and parameters that are specific not only to the logic of the museum world but also to factors extrinsic to the museum. In particular older performance art 'relics' are subject to contextual interpretations and changes in meaning and status. Some philosophical and sociological theories that address how objects and things are percieved and defined, such as Pierre Bourdieu's theory of Habitus and cultural mapping, the Actor-Network Theory and Thing Theories, will be looked at in an attempt to understand the various parameters defining status and value in art, and how this, inturn, affects the role of the conservator. Borrowing from Bourdieu's field mapping technique, a few artists and artworks will be used as examples to illustrate how an artwork's status can change and how this change affects our perception and relation to the work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVDR Beiträge zur Erhaltung von Kunst- und Kulturgut
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2017
EventSymposium Collecting and Conservering Performance Art, Wolfsburg, Germany - Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany
Duration: 9 Jun 201611 Jun 2016


ConferenceSymposium Collecting and Conservering Performance Art, Wolfsburg, Germany
LocationKunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Internet address

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