Monash University Toggle Search

Session 3. Preservation Through Knowledge Transmission: From Artist to Institution

Tuesday 3 November, 8pm

Louise Lawson (Conservation Manager, Tate) and Robert Lazarus (Associate Lecturer, Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, University of Melbourne)

Stephen Gilchrist (Lecturer, University of Sydney)

Register here for your zoom link to this live online event.
Auslan interpretation and closed captioning available

The preservation of choreographic work lays challenge to the core principles of the traditional museum model—perpetuity and permanence. What processes might better serve the preservation of choreographic works? And how might knowledge transmission occur within and without the institution? The speakers in this session discuss case studies and experiences of archiving and conserving works that engage with body, memory and social networks. Louise Lawson discusses ​the conservation practice and processes that are being developed at Tate to preserve performance art. Robert Lazarus will reflect on the importance of stretching our understanding of conservation practices through the nature of the artworks themselves, and how this responsive approach can shape the teaching and learning of new generations of conservators.

Louise Lawson is Conservation Manager for Time Based Media Conservation at Tate. She is responsible for the strategic direction, development and delivery of all aspects relating to time-based media conservation at Tate. This requires working across a wide range of projects and programmes: exhibitions, displays, acquisition, loan-outs and collection care initiatives. Her current work and research is focused on the documentation and conservation of performance-based artworks within the Tate Collection. This has involved developing documentation tools and a conservation strategy to support how works enter, live and evolve in the collection. Lawson has spoken at a range of conferences, with recent papers on the documentation and conservation of performance considering themes such as conservation as living process, unfolding interactions and transmission of knowledge.

Dr Robert Lazarus studies intergenerational documentary practices through technology and performance. His work examines the documentation of culture within Indigenous and global museums. A disciplinary background in media, education and anthropology shapes his methodological and pedagogical practices. At the University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, he lectures on conserving performance and media art for the safeguarding of intangible and digital heritage. Lazarus has published on the anthropology, history and conservation of art. In addition to academic outputs, he publishes visual, acoustic and textual cultural material.

Stephen Gilchrist, a Yamatji man of the Inggarda language group of northwest Western Australia, is Associate Lecturer of Indigenous Art at the University of Sydney. Before this, he taught at New York University, Sydney. Gilchrist is a writer and curator who has worked with the Indigenous Australian collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2003–05), the British Museum, London (2008), the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2005–10) and the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College (2011–13). He was a curatorial attaché for the 20th Biennale of Sydney under the Artistic Directorship of Stephanie Rosenthal in 2015–16. Gilchrist was the Australian Studies Visiting Curator at the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University (2012–16), where he curated Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia. He has curated numerous exhibitions in Australia and the United States and has written extensively on Indigenous Art from Australia.

Image: Lee Mingwei, Our Labyrinth, 2015, performance. Installation view, 11th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Power Station of Art, 12 November 2016 – 2 March 2017. © Jay Yuan

VIDEO: Precarious Movements: Conversations - Session 3

Tuesday 3 November, 8pm


Precarious Movements: Choreography and the Museum is a research project led by a group of independent artists, curators, conservators, and academics affiliated with UNSW, AGNSW, MUMA, NGV and Tate.