Dr. Hanna B. Hölling, project lead

Hanna is Research Professor at the Bern University of the Arts and Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art, University College London. Her research, teaching and advising address subjects in art history and theory, media and material (culture) studies, museology, conservation, and American and European art created since the 1960s. Her publications include six books. Two are monographs. Her writings appeared in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes and exhibition catalogs. She serves as an advisor on international research projects and academic programs. For more information, follow this link.

Next to leading the project in close collaboration with other project members, Hanna’s role in the project involves research on aspects of the conservability of performance, its objects and relics, instructions and scores and tacit and implicit knowledge and how thinking about these notions may contribute to conservation as knowledge building activity.

Dr. Julia Pelta Feldman, postdoctoral fellow

Julia is an art historian, curator, archivist, and salonnière. Focused on art since 1945, their research interests include conservation history and theory, the periodization of recent art, performance and ephemeral media, modern and contemporary craft, and social justice in the art world. They received their doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Julia has worked at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Grey Art Gallery. They regularly publish articles on diverse topics in both English and German.

Julia’s research for the project is centered on expanded notions of conservation, including via archival theory and practice, immaterial and embodied forms of knowledge transmission, reperformance and reenactment, and curatorial approaches.

Electra D’Emilio Maria Letizia, project assistant

Electra completed her MA Conservation-Restoration in Paintings and Sculpture at HKB Bern in September 2018.  During her studies she worked as a conservator in various studios and museums in Switzerland and Italy.  She gained professional experience at Empa, where she was employed from 2019-2020 as a research assistant in the WoodNanoBonding project together with Dr Thomas Geiger (EMPA). She also works as a freelance restorer and technician for art galleries.

Valerian Maly, project specialist

Valerian is a performance artist, lecturer and head of the Performance Art Department at the MA CAP Bern University of the Arts, as well as a curator of performance-based projects and exhibitions. For over 30 years, together with the artist Klara Schilliger, he has worked in the expanded field of practice, creating intermedia performances, installations and location-related and situation-related works that he calls “InstallActions.” In the 1970s, Valerian founded the film, video and performance festival VIPER. Between 2011 and 2017 he was the artistic director of the art festival BONE. He also co-curated the exhibition “Terry Fox: Elemental Gestures” at Kunstmuseum Bern 2017 and initiated and co-curated the “République Géniale” – after Robert Filliou at Kunstmuseum Bern 2018. Currently he is the vice-president of the International Artist Gremium IKG and board member of the Performance Art Network Switzerland PANCH.

In this project, Valerian applies his expertise and experience in working with performance art and witnessing its various stages of development. Employing his perspective of a performer, he will conduct an auto-ethnography to reveal the processes behind the self-perpetuation, institutionalization and conservation of performance.

Emilie Magnin, doctoral candidate

Emilie holds a master’s degree in Conservation-Restoration from the Bern University of the Arts with a specialization in modern materials and media. After her studies, she has worked as a contemporary art and media conservator for several years. Her research interests lie in the challenges of preserving time-based and ephemeral artworks and all their intangible aspects, and in exploring how these artworks are reshaping conservation practices and theory.

Within this project, Emilie writes a doctoral dissertation concerning several aspects of the conservability of performance art. Situated in the SINTA Studies in the Arts graduate program at Bern University and Bern University of the Arts, her thesis is jointly supervised by Prof. Dr. Hanna B. Hölling and Prof. Dr. Noémie Étienne.