Monday, 7 January 2013

Project on communicating conservation UCL-IoA 2012-13

This was the last of a series of posters designed by students from ARCLG141 (2012-13),  one of the core courses of the MA in Principles of Conservation at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Each poster explored a specific conservation issue and tailored it to the targeted audience. The posters were accompanied by a paper where the same issues were explored in more depth. Unfortunately you will only have access to the posters!  But watch this space and you will certainly know more about the amazing work these conservation students are doing!
You can see all the posters in this blog by scrolling the page down or on our UCL page
You can leave comments here or on our FB page

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Issues in conservation: reversibility, neutrality and objectivity, by V Ford

Conservation theory is pervaded by the notions of reversibility, neutrality and objectivity. This poster re-examines the terms, questioning their usefulness and attainability in modern conservation practice. The aim is to increase awareness and understanding about their implications and to encourage conservators to think beyond individual terms when making treatment decisions as well as in their interactions with others.

Photos taken with kind permission from Magdalen College, Oxford.

Target Audience

Primary audience: Conservation professionals. Secondary audience: Museum professionals. Context: International or national academic conference.

Survival through reign of two suns, by Y L Wu

This poster introduces the Taoyuan Martyrs Shrine first built as a Shinto shrine in 1938 while Taiwan was a colony of Japan, and later transformed in to a Chinese Martyrs Shrine after the second world war.(The Administrative Committee of Taoyuan County Confucius Temple & Taoyuan Shrine 2009). The different stages and events that took place on the shrine reflects how socio-political and economical factors could influence its conservation process, with some comparison to the shrine in Taichung.

Target Audience

The poster is aimed for the visitors of the shrine, with possible interest to cultural heritage, in hope of inspiring them to think about the history of this heritage, how it came to its recent state, what were the influences behind the process.

Caring for sacred ruins, by W Q

This poster presents an over-intervention case—Leifeng Pagoda reconstruction in order to demonstrate the context of religious heritage conservation and comparatively lowly status of professional conservator group in devising and implementing religious heritage conservation approaches in China. Also the poster explores values of religious heritage in three groups(conservator group, religious community and local authorities) in China and highlights the importance of mutual consultation in conservation decision-making. 

Target Audience

Conservators, Religious community and the Chinese authorities for cultural heritage.

The Conservation of Oral History and the Public

The conservation of oral history brings conservation into the community, allowing ‘everyday people’ the chance to conserve, control and aid how they wish history, and they, will be remembered. The necessity for the conservation of oral history is paramount because unlike physical objects that may be able to be brought back if left untouched or as an untapped resource for knowledge, oral histories are forever gone and unrecoverable after the death of their ‘owner.’

Target Audience:
All members of the community and/or public with both an interest in oral history and those who might not know anything about it.

Controlling the past, owning the future, by S S F

The expansion of necessary developments have a direct impact on cultural recourses. Iran is an ideologically driven country currently undergoing development.  The state now called Iran is currently covering a land enriched with variety of historical and archeological values. Any kind of development projects should primarily take this into an account to avoid destruction and disturbance of these nonrenewable sites. Yet there are different kinds of motivations for the authorities, when it comes to dealing with cultural heritage site. Lets see under what conditions cultural heritage sites are carefully preserved and why in some cases they are being neglected and almost deliberately destroyed.

Target Audience: Cultural heritage managers, conservators and archaeologists.


Friday, 4 January 2013

Uncommissioned Interventions: Unofficial Heritage Management + The Untergunther (UX), by R Price

If it is not possible to reform the fundamental authority structures and power relationships that continue to contribute to the misinterpretation and misrepresentation of cultural heritage despite ‘progressive’ efforts, maybe the ideal solution is to empower and train communities to manage their own heritage. ‘Uncommissioned Interventions’ conducted outside of the official sphere, by groups like The Untergunther, while problematic, are worth exploring as a form of true community participation.

Target Audience

Conservators and Cultural Heritage Management Professionals.

The Fall of the Mighty: Iconoclastic Vandalism in Post-Soviet States, by E L Peirce

This poster discusses the iconoclastic aspect of vandalism, especially pertaining to the evolution of political regimes.  What happens to symbolic objects after they fall from grace and how can we preserve them? Both the physical destruction of statues and the creation of statue parks (which destroys the context of the object) are discussed.

Target Audience

Conservators in areas of severe political change, such as the Middle East or North Africa where there are frequent changes in regime.

Save the Acacus. World Heritage Site in Danger, by K W

The Acacus is a World Heritage Site in South-West Libya on the Algerian border.  It is remote, wild and beautiful and it has ancient rock art – paintings and engravings – which are being lost because of vandalism, uncontrolled tourism and the effects of the oil industry. This poster is a plea to do something soon to protect this unique environment and its important cultural heritage before it is lost forever.

My thanks go to Dr Hafed Walda, who kindly supplied the photographs, and Dr Peter Howard, for granting permission to reproduce his map.

Target Audience

The target audience are UNESCO and the Libyan Government.  The reasons this audience was chosen is because they have the power to protect this heritage.  There is an urgent need to conserve the art of this area which is under threat from so many different quarters.  Without urgent help we may lose some of this unique cultural heritage.

The Great Compromise, by L Sharples

The Great Compromise poster addresses the argument within the Organological community in relation to playing historically functioning musical instruments. In no uncertain terms this issue continues to present challenges within the community and a viable solution needs to be found so as to maximize the information we can gain from these objects. The poster briefly explores both sides of the argument and suggests a way in which a “Great Compromise” could be implemented.

Target Audience

Anyone involved with Organology. Restorers, Performers, Conservators, Academics and Members of the Public.

Graffiti: decorating our streets , by A P

The wealth of graffiti that lines Hackney's streets provides a sense of vibrancy and individuality to the otherwise generic, run down environment. Graffiti culture is an important part of the artistic community here and is very much celebrated by residents and tourists alike.
Council policy however, considers all forms of graffiti - regardless of its aesthetic value - as vandalism, resulting in its obliteration. Through this poster I wish to generate public support for a change of policy by highlighting the importance of community participation in decisions affecting the  decoration of our public streets.

Target Audience

Residents of Hackney.

Conservator: the invisible hero, by C T N

The poster gathers from four examples of public outreach and influential models in a conservation specific
theme. The goal of the poster is to promote a self-evaluation to a conservator’s own ways to promote outreach and generate ideas for the conservation profession to adopt or improve in a similar attitude.

Target audience

Museum/Institution conservators, conservation community.

How to Conserve a Concept, by E Murphy

How to Conserve a Concept, by E Murphy

Contemporary art conservation presents challenges beyond the infamous material ones. When conserving a contemporary object it is necessary to consider the impact of material failures on the meaning of the artwork. Following the recommendations of the Amsterdam based Foundation for the Conservation of Modern Art, it is when the materials fail to carry the meaning that intervention is warranted. This poster presents an example of ephemeral art conservation. The importance of documentation is emphasized.

Target Audience

This poster is directed toward docents / museum educators to help them explain some of the problems that may arise with contemporary art conservation.  

Preserving the Rain Room– Issues in the Conservation of Contemporary Art, by A Mantyniemi

Random International’s newest installation Rain Room allows for people to step into the rain and not get wet. The work is an intricate installation in which visitors have the power to control an artificial downpour through their own movements.Rain Roommakes use of inherently ephemeral media and is conceptual in nature - qualities common of many contemporary artworks. Such characteristics challenge conventional conservation practice and force conservators to consider alternative preservation strategies. In this poster, the issues involved in safeguarding transient and conceptual contemporary art are explored.

Target Audience

Conservators, conservation students, curators.

Conserving Minimalism, by A Hancock

The issues that surround the conservation of contemporary art are in some ways even less visible than those associated with other types of objects, not least because we do not necessarily think of these works as deteriorating. The purpose of this poster is firstly to highlight these issues and to secondly encourage debate about them, framed around the work of one Minimalist artist, Dan Flavin.

Target Audience

General visitors to a gallery or museum.

Don’t Wash Heritage Away, by M Gibbons

Existing professional literature does not describe if or how contemporary graffiti should be approached from a conservation standpoint, despite the fact that it is a significant method of cultural discourse.  However, the challenges of preserving contemporary graffiti in a conceptually authentic state, and of weighing competing cultural values, can be clarified by contextualizing the medium within the realm of intangible cultural heritage. 

Target Audience

The poster is primarily directed towards conservation professionals, but could also be useful to arts professionals in other disciplines.

The subjective science, by L H Fredheim

Conservation is inherently values-based, intrinsically tied to culturally constructed, subjective heritage values in constant flux. However, conservation is not hopelessly adrift; the realization of the subjective nature of conservation allows conservators to actively engage with the development of heritage values and become managers of change. As specialists in both the arts and the sciences, conservators are entitled to opinions and would do society a service by making them heard.

Target audience

Conservators and other heritage professionals.

Identity and Public Art Conservation, by L F

This poster describes 3 different ways to look at the motivations behind the decision to participate in public art conservation projects. I hope that in this way, conservators will be able to better analyse the identity-related motivations participants have, and ways in which to target desired groups.  In this way, I hope that both conservators and participants will be able to get the most from participation.

Target Audience

Attendees at a conservation conference.

Preserving Freud : conservation challenges at 20 Maresfield Gardens, by M Agova

Sigmund Freud is treated as a modern-day secular saint, complete with devotional texts, worshippers and relics. This poster and the paper accompanying it look at how conservation has contributed to his acquiring this status. They analyse the context of his antiquities collection during his lifetime, after his death as part of his study, which his daughter Anna kept intact, and as part of the Freud Museum today. The aim is to encourage a critical perspective of museum constructs.

Target Audience
The target audience for the poster is a public with an existing interest in Freud and The Freud Museum, comprising museum members, donors, past visitors and subscribers to its newsletter.

Project on Communicating Conservation at the UCL IoA

The next few posts will show some of the work of students from ARCLG141 (2012-13). This is one of the core courses of the MA in Principles of Conservation at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

As part of their assessed work for this course, students were asked to design and produce a poster communicating specific aspects of conservation. We hope you enjoy our work! Comments are most welcome. 

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