Iterative Installation

Exposé éclair

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    An examination of installation artworks and their associated documentation, my thesis project describes the co-production of meaning through material and discursive means and highlights the performative nature of curatorial work. Regularly acquired by Canadian art museums for more than two decades, installations challenge those charged with their care to re-examine institutional norms related to permanence, materiality, and authorship. Even in instances where artists offer explicit instructions for re-installation, the subjectivity of the interpretive task and the transposition of artworks into novel contexts leads to variations between presentations. This inquiry seeks to expose the forces that shape future presentations of a piece and hypothesizes that the ability to re-actualize installation relies on an understanding of both the conceptual framework established by the artist and the material properties of the artwork. Drawing on performance studies and post-structuralist theory, this project highlights the ways in which conservators and curators co-construct meaning and examines the practices that enable the perpetuation of installation. This "lightning" presentation will rapidly characterize installation art and situate my project within the larger context of museum collecting and the institutionalization of the medium. It will illustrate the performative nature of conservation and curatorial practice and emphasize the value of conceptualizing installations as iterative structures.