Revisions—Zen for Film was developed during a two-year Andrew W. Mellon “Cultures of Conservation” Fellowship at Bard Graduate Center.

In the 1960s, the art world and its objects began to experience a dramatic shift in what and how art can be. New modes of artistic expression articulated through Fluxus activities, happening, performance, video, experimental film and the emerging practices of media art questioned the idea of a static object that endures unchanged and might thus be subject to a singular interpretation. Different from traditional visual arts, the blending genres and media in art since the 1960s began to transform not only curatorial and museum collecting practices, but also the traditional function and mandate of conservation, now augmented to accept the inherent dynamism and changeability of artworks.

Can Fluxus be musealized? How to conceive of the afterlives of performance? How to negotiate the continuity of experimental film in between the visual and cinematic cultures? How to locate new media beyond the paradigmatic singularity and uniqueness of traditional “objects”? Can the notion of conservation be sustained? Engaging in what might be called an expanded curatorial and conservation discourse, this symposium brings together international scholars in visual and performing arts, film, media, curatorial and conservation studies to debate aspects of continuity and change in artworks on the occasion of the Focus Gallery exhibition Revisions—Zen for Film.


Hanna Hölling
2013-2015 Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor, Cultures of Conservation, Bard Graduate Center
Visiting Scholar, MPIWG, Berlin
“Zen for Film: Object, Event, Performance, Process”


Glenn Wharton
Clinical Associate Professor, Museum Studies, New York University
“Between Objects and Performance: Translating Artworks at the Contemporary Art Museum”

Hannah Higgins
Professor, Chair of Art History, University of Illinois, Chicago
“Reperformance: A Typology”

Coffee Break

Sarah Cook
Reader and Curator, University of Dundee
“Restart: A Curatorial Perspective on Generative and Variable Media Art Works”

Andrew V. Uroskie
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, MA/PhD Program in Modern Art History, Criticism & Theory, Stony Brook University
“Philosophical Toys: Marcel Duchamp, Robert Breer and the Problem of the Moving Image for Institutions of Postwar Art”

Panel discussion