Originally Posted by StephenHero
Does menstrual blood take well to varnish?
That kind of issue, and how to preserve things with performative aspects as relics or as artwork, and having to make a choice, and then an additional choice of when to let something die. They showed some amazing slides. For example I had no idea that this famous Eva Hesse work:
was originally clear:
It also cannot be hung at this point or else it will disintegrate. It lies in storage on a sort of coffin custom built to the contours it had settled into.
In some cases, conservators have to invent new substances that will act as temporary varnish. There are a lot of things to consider with any contemporary art, more so with conceptual work. It has an impact. Apparently some early conservator in the field explained to de Kooning that his mixing of sunflower oil with paint had essentially doomed all of his paintings. I guess he was so disturbed that he stopped painting and when he finally began again started using more classical mixtures.