New Strategies in the Conservation of Contemporary Art


Works of contemporary art pose particular difficult conservation problems which cannot be solved along the lines of the so-called ?scientific freeze? paradigm that until recently was the standard in conservation theory and ethics. In the last 15 years conservation professionals from museums and heritage institutions have initiated a series of international research projects, which have resulted in the development of instruments and the implementation of measures that have improved the conditions for conservation practice and in the trying out of new conservation strategies. Yet there is still an urgent need for scholarly research and reflection on the aims, procedures and consequences of these new strategies. This interdisciplinary research proposal aims to empirically investigate the impact of museum conservation practices on the material constitution, meaning and agency of a number of problematic art works and provide a philosophically argued model for conservation theory and ethics that is useful for this type of works.


Book or monography


  • H. B. Hölling(2013): Re:Paik , Amsterdam  September 20, 2013

Chapter in book

  • R. van de Vall(2009): Art d' aujourd'hui. Patrimoine de demain pp. 51 - 56 , Parijs
  • V. van Saaze(2009): Art d' aujourdhui. Patrimoine de demain pp. 20 - 28 , Parijs
  • T Scholte, V van Saaze, G Wharton(2011): Inside Installations. Theory and Practice in the Care of Complex Artworks pp. 249 - 255 , Amsterdam
  • S Denny, H Hölling(2012): Full Participation pp. 185 - 187 , Aspen
  • VEJP van Saaze(2012): Robert Smithson pp. 63 - 92 , Amsterdam
  • J Hedinger, H. B. Hölling, T Meyer(2013): WHAT'S NEXT? pp. 00 - 00 , Berlijn
  • V.E.J.P van Saaze, J. Noordegraaf(2013): Preserving and Exhibitioning Media Art: pp. 170 - 175 , Amsterdam
  • A. Dekker, P. Martore, V.E.J.P. van Saaze(2014): Tra memoria e oblio. pp. 98 - 117 , Rome
  • P. Laurenson, V.E.J.P. van Saaze(2014): Performativity in the Gallery pp. 27 - 41 , Oxford
  • H. B. Hölling, P. Martore(2014): Tra memoria e oblio: percosi nella conservation dell?arte contemporanea pp. 00 - 00 , Roma

Scientific article

  • V van Saaze(2010): Going Public Revista de História da Arte
  • V van Saaze(2011): Going Public:Backstage and Front-stage in Contemporary Art Museums Revista de História da Arte pp. 235 - 249
  • V.E.J.P. van Saaze, A. Dekker(2013): Surprising Usages of a Documentation Model International Journal for Performance Art and Digital Media pp. 99 - 113
  • H. B. Hölling(2013): Transcending Obsolescence in technological Ruins? Questions of Conservation and Presentation in Nam June Paik Multimedia Installations Necsus European Journal of Media Studies pp. 00 - 00
  • H. B. Hölling(2013): Versions, Variations, and Variability Electronic Media Review pp. 00 - 00
  • R van de Vall(2015): Documenting Dilemmas Revista de História da Arte pp. 7 - 18

Professional publication

  • H. B. Hölling(2010): On the Afterlife of Performance
  • A Dekker, V van Saaze, G Weyers(2010): What Visual Arts Can Learn from Dance Reconstruction: An Introduction to the Current State of Research within IMK
  • G Weyers, A Dekker, V van Saaze(2010): The Interview as Knowledge Production Tool in Contemporary Art and Dance Documentation
  • A Dekker, V van Saaze, G Weyers(2010): The Art of Documentation
  • H. B. Hölling(2013): On the Identity of Nam June Paik's Changeable Multimedia Installations in the Context of Their Conservation
  • H. B. Hölling(2014): Seeking the Authentic Moment. De- and Re-Materializations in Paik?s Video and Multimedia Installations

Publication meant for a broad audience

  • V van Saaze(2010): Conservering van hedendaagse kunst
  • V van Saaze(2011): A Biography of Jessica Diamond?s Tributes To Kusama: Me Constellation

Publications for the general public

  • VEJP van Saaze, G Wijers, A Dekker(2010): Documentation Model for EG / PC's Extra Dry
  • W Smeets(2011): Niet Aanraken!
  • W Degens(2011): Oeps het glas is gebroken
  • P 't Hoen, L Beerkens, IJ Hummelen, VEJP van Saaze, S Stigter, T Scholte(2012): The Artist Interview
  • V.E.J.P. van Saaze(2013): Radio interview met Vivian van Saaze n.a.v. publicatie Installation Art and the Museum


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. R. van de Vall

Affiliated with

Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Literature and Art

Team members

Dr. H.B. Hölling, Dr. V.E.J.P. van Saaze, Prof. dr. R. van de Vall


01/09/2009 to 23/02/2015