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Words by Tina Palaić

Creative Study Lab: From Preservation to Care

13-14 October 2022 at the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, Ljubljana

Museums are defined by their function of preserving heritage, both tangible and intangible, for study, education, and enjoyment. The field of museum conservation plays an essential role in it. The physical condition of an object is one of the factors considered in a conservation decision, with the goal of protecting its material integrity and to reduce the risk of deterioration. In this regard, cutting-edge technology can be used to study and safeguard objects. However, conservation should be defined not only by specific knowledge of materials and preservation techniques, but also by understanding of the object making processes as well as various perceptions of objects and the values that communities attach to them and their use.

This workshop will investigate two sets of questions. To begin, we will explore various technologies and their applications in better understanding objects and their degradation phenomena. Second, collaborative conservation as a methodology will be investigated, with an emphasis on the value of community expertise and perspectives, as critical to the conservation processes.


DAY 1: Conservation Perspectives: Collaboration with Source Communities

9:30 – 10:00: Registration and welcome coffee

10:00 – 10:15: Welcoming remarks by Natalija Polenec, director

                        Welcoming remarks by Tina Palaić, Project Coordinator at SEM

10:15 – 10:45: Lecture 1 (moderator: Tina Palaić)
Rene Riedler, Weltmuseum Wien, Austria & Christel Pesme, Heritage Conservation Center, Singapore
Decontextualisation: a form of dissociation or a new risk?

10:45 – 11:00: Q&A

11:00 – 11:45: Presentation of partner’s case studies: good examples of world cultures collections' conservation (moderator: Ralf Čeplak Mencin)

11:00 – 11:15 – Jeremy Uden, Pitt Rivers, Oxford
Plastic Fantastic project

11:15 – 11:30 –  Ulrich Menter and Isabel Klotz, Linden Museum, Stuttgart
LindenLabs project

11:30 – 11.45 – Miran Pflaum, National Museum of Slovenia
After-life in a Museum: A-Keswy-ta Mummy and Egyptian Collection in the National Museum of Slovenia

11:45 – 12:00: Coffee Break

12:00 – 12.30: Lecture 2 (moderator: Tina Palaić)
Diana Gabler, Museum am Rothenbaum – Kulturen und Künste der Welt (MARKK)
Towards a collaborative conservation practice?

12:30 – 12:45: Q&A

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch Break

14:30 – 16:30: Workshop at the Biotechnical Faculty (moderator: Tina Palaić)
Slovene Ethnographic Museum, Ljubljana (case study presentation)
Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Wood Science and Technology (presentation of the laboratory and various projects)

Image 2: Working on the beehive in the shape of a bin. Photo: Gregor Kos, Slovene Ethnographic Museum.

DAY 2: Technology and Knowledge Production on Museum Object

9:00 – 9:30: Lecture 3
Sofie Dierickx, The Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium
In support of the international travel of ethnographic collections: Identification of wood on Congolese objects using micro- an sub micron Tomography

9:30 – 9:45: Q&A

9:45 – 10:30: Presentation of each partner’s case studies: challenges and solutions (moderator: Michel Lee)

9:45 – 10:00 – Jennifer Mitchell, Pitt Rivers, Oxford
'What's in Our Drawers': the storage challenges

10:00 – 10:15 – Ulrich Menter and Isabel Klotz, Linden Museum, Stuttgart
Collaboration: Conservation Department's Challenges

10:15 – 10:30 – Gerald Kozicz and Max Frühwirt, Graz University of Technology
On digitisation of the SEM collection: A mirror frame and a Chinese pavilion

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:00
Visit SEM permanent exhibition Between Nature and Culture
with Katarina Nahtigal

12:00 – 13:00
Visit SEM temporary exhibition Folk art between home and the world: the SEM’s and IRWIN’s NSK Folk Art collections
with Bojana Rogelj Škafar

13:00 – 14:00: Lunch Break

14:00 – 16:00: Workshop organized by the Research Institute, Conservation Centre, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (moderator: Tina Palaić)