The workshop, which I conducted mostly in Spanish, included lectures and activities on topics such as Post-War art history, chemistry, and degradation of common modern materials, preventive conservation, ethical issues in preserving modern and contemporary art, documentation, artist interviews, treatment materials and techniques, and treatment decision-making models. To increase engagement and interactive learning, I broke up the lectures with quick review sessions, several round-table group discussions, small team exercises, an on-site visit to the nearby contemporary art museum, and hands-on activities.
I included two reading seminars. The day before each reading seminar, I gave participants a list of related discussion questions to consider. Paired participants chose one of the assigned readings for which they would lead the group discussion. The readings and discussion questions encouraged debate while keeping the participant-led discussions on point. All participants had the opportunity to lead and have their voices heard. I was pleased with how eagerly the participants took charge of their assignments and at the depth to which we carried discussions on large, important topics.
Workshop participants also learned through small team exercises. After lecturing on environmental conditions, I divided the participants into small groups to discuss a case study in which a colour-sensitive plastic mobile was to be exhibited in a window-filled museum lobby. Each group presented a plan for testing and monitoring the environmental conditions in the proposed exhibition space, devised a method for identifying the artwork materials, recommended parameters for display, and then developed exhibition recommendations for the installation space. While the groups agreed on environmental standards for the installation, each group had a different solution for how to accomplish them.
To read more about the FAIC- and WUDPAC-supported workshop, activities, and participants, read the full IIC e-paper article here.