#CIHA202401330Possibilities of Preservation and Presentation of Angel (1976): Performative Hologram Installation by Simone Forti and Lloyd Cross

J. Dématérialisation/Rematérialisation
Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge
M. Krausová 1,*, E. SNIJDERS 1.
1University Of Amsterdam - Amsterdam (Pays-Bas)

*Auteur(s) correspondant(s).
Adresse email : k.mrausova@gmail.com (M.Krausová)


Sujet en anglais / Topic in english

Sujet de la session en français / Topic in french

Texte de la proposition de communication en français ou en anglais

This article presents the findings of thesis research into the possibilities of preservation and presentation of the installation Angel (1976) by performance artist Simone Forti (1935) and holographer Lloyd Cross (1935-2015). The focus is on the transitions of performative aspects of the work, which shape its meaning and identity, and their relation to its current material form.

Angel evolved throughout time: first, there was only the cylinder with the hologram used as a prop during Forti’s performances, but simultaneously was exhibited on its own. Later, it transformed into an autonomous installation by adding a wooden light box with a lamp and a pedestal. Additionally, the installation has undergone several transitions in terms of performative aspects. Apart from Angel’s use as part of performances, the image itself is a recording of one of Forti's choreographies. The image is only visible when lit with the right light source and viewed from a certain angle, in combination with the viewer's movement. The pace, direction, and proximity to the work determine the colours and movement of Forti's holographic self-portrait, which as if magically appears and disappears somewhere in the transparent cylinder. The orbit of the hologram shows the performed movement on a loop, inviting the viewers to perform their orbiting ‘hologram dance’ on a loop as well. This refers to Forti’s studies of repetitive movements of animals in captivity. These aspects ought to be underlined by the way it is installed and presented in the space.

The hologram cylinder, standing on a four-legged pedestal and balancing on the edges of a crate, is quite unstable. Its intriguing nature and the viewers’ movement led to accidents, which were responded to by the accommodation of stricter exhibition policies. This resulted in limitations in the viewer’s movement around the hologram, muting the work’s performative identity and metaphoricity. These can be seen as the work’s defining properties, which need to be evaluated within the artist’s oeuvre and in relation to the work’s technical (material) aspects. Moreover, the hologram, as the main (performative and performance-based) part of the work, is exposed to excessive light and heat when on display. This exposure accelerates material aging, resulting in fading and gradual loss of the image.

Due to this loss of immanence (material), the work would lose its transcendence (desired experience). Thus, the loss of the hologram would mean the loss of the artwork. As a transparent silver-halide-based recording, its preventive conservation must be accentuated. The holographic film of Angel is the only version known. There are no ways to photographically copy or properly document holograms, but it is technically possible to make their photochemical copies. Thus, to enable a safer, longer, and free-er display without compromising the work’s lifespan, the research investigated replication options for exhibition purposes as a tool for the preservation of the hologram. The materially original Angel could then be considered a master hologram, making exhibition copies for exhibition purposes, helping to re-gain the work’s interactivity.

Keywords: installation & performance & replication & hologram.


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Markéta Krausová is a student of post-master Advanced Professional Program in Conservation & Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Amsterdam. She earned her BcA. in Conservation & Restoration of Artworks on Paper and Related Materials at the University of Pardubice in Litomyšl, the Czech Republic. She continued her studies there with a Master's Programme in the Restoration of Easel Paintings, which she terminated to start the Master’s Programme in Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), where she earned her MSc. During her studies, Through the Erasmus+ Programme, she gained experience during a study internship at Instituto Politecnico Tomar (Portugal, 2018), a summer work internship at the Netherlands Photomuseum (Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2018), and Galleri Tonne, (Oslo, Norway, 2019). Since 2020, she has gained experience as an apprentice conservator in conservation and restoration projects in murals, wooden polychromy, and polychromed sculpture, and in conservation and restoration of contemporary paintings.
LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark%C3%A9ta-krausov%C3%A1-b2b94a243?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_profile_view_base_contact_details%3BujPnZg4JQMiXLdfRCRqO4w%3D%3D. 

Résumé / Abstract

The research investigates the possibilities and limitations of the use of replication as a tool for the preservation of the hologram-based installationAngelby Simone Forti and Lloyd Cross. Before being made into an installation, the hologram itself was exhibitedby itself, simultaneously used as a prop during performances.and can now be seen as a recording of one of her performance movements. Thehologram is the only existing one. Current display compromises its longevity and current safety policies diminish the work’s performative identity. Exhibition copy-making is being investigated as asolutionto both from an ethical and technical perspective.