Two Questions

In this series of brief interviews, we pose two fundamental questions to a variety of experts who work with, in, and on performance and conservation:

1) Can performance be conserved? If so, how? If not, why not?

2) What does it mean to conserve performance?

Dive into the range of responses from conservators, art historians, historians of science, folklorists, curators, performance studies scholars, artists, and other leading voices.

Julia Asperska, Associate-Curator at Internationale Tanzmesse NRW; former Associate Co-Director at Something Great.

Philip Auslander, Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia; author of several seminal publications on the topics of liveness, mediatization and documentation in performance and on popular music

Lena Eriksson, Muda Mathis, Chris Regn and Andrea Saeman are artists working in a variety of media, including performance, and curators of the exhibition “BANG BANG – translocal hi:stories of performance art” at the Museum Tinguely Basel (June 8 – August 21, 2022). This episode was recorded in German.

Judit Bodor, Baxter Fellow in Curatorial Practice (Teaching & Research) at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art & Design, University of Dundee

Sven Dupré, Director of the Research Institute for History and Art History of History of Art, and Professor of History of Art, Science and Technology at Utrecht University (History & Art History) and the University of Amsterdam (Conservation & Restoration).

Ido Feder is an independent choreographer and artistic director of the international dance festival Diver in Tel Aviv.

Flaminia Fortunato serves as the Stedelijk Museum’s time-based media art conservator.

Rebecca Gordon, art historian and conservation researcher, Associate Lecturer in History of Art, Department of History of Art, University College London

Tancredi Gusman, Assistant Professor in Theatre and Performance Studies in the Department of History, Humanities and Society, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Hannah Higgins, Professor of Intermedia and Avant-Garde Art and Culture, University of Illinois Chicago; author of Fluxus Experience (2002) and The Grid Book (2009); daughter of the Fluxus artists Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles

Sherri Irvin, Senior Associate Dean of the Graduate College and Presidential Research Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Pip Laurenson, Professor of Conservation at University College London and director of the new MSc in Conservation of Contemporary Art & Media which will launch in September 2023 at UCL East 

Kate Lewis, Agnes Gund Chief Conservator, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Hélia Marçal, Lecturer in Art, Materials, and Technology at the Department of History of Art, University College London

Rachel Rivenc, Head of Conservation and Preservation, Getty Research Institute (GRI); former research specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) as part of the Modern and Contemporary Art Initiative

Sarah Scaturro, Eric and Jane Nord Chief Conservator at the Cleveland Museum of Art; PhD candidate in design history and material culture studies at Bard Graduate Center; former head of the fashion conservation laboratory at the Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sarah Cameron Sunde, interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video and public art; 2022 awardee of the Guggenheim Fellowshisp to complete her ongoing series of works, 36.5 /A Durational Performance with the Sea (2013 – present, nine works on six continents)

Diana Taylor, Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University’ s Tisch School of the Arts and the founding director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

Kay Turner, artist and scholar working across disciplines including performance, writing, music, exhibition curation, and public and academic folklore; former director of the Brooklyn Arts Council‘s Folk Arts Program

Victor Wang, artistic Director and Chief Curator of Beijing’s M WOODS Museum, which is focused on contemporary art from China and the rest of the world. He is also the founder of the Institute of Asian Performance Art.

Glenn Wharton, Professor of Art History and Professor of the Conservation of Material Culture at University of California, Los Angeles and Chair of the UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage


Jill Sterrett, arts and cultural heritage advisor, conservator, and museum professional; former director of collections and head of conservation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art