theory of arts practices
doctoral research

Conservation and Presentation of Food-Based Art

  • Onderzoekers: Julie Gilman
  • Promotoren: Dirk van Gogh (School of Arts), Maximiliaan Martens (Ghent University, dept. Art, Music and Theatre Studies), Bruno De Meulenaer (Ghent University, dept. Food Safety and Food Quality)

2006 – 2015

Increasingly, and in ever more diverse ways, contemporary artists make use of organic materials, such as foodstuffs, vegetal or animal tissue and other natural materials. Without doubt one of the most adverse qualities of such works of art, is the inherently limited storage life and susceptibility to deterioration. To control and, if possible, curb decomposition, thorough knowledge of all affecting factors is required. Concerning foodstuffs, the knowledge of dealing with works of art entirely or party made up of these perishables, is lacking. Due to both factors (lack of expertise on the one hand, increasing frequency of the use of such materials on the other), there is a need for research of Eat Art. This project wishes to propose an answer, through interdisciplinary research, to the question concerning the optimal conditions in exhibiting, storing and transporting works of art containing foodstuffs. Key objective in this, is the systematic analysis of the issue, based on a scientific and academic multidisciplinary foundation, incorporating a framework of art theory and empirical case studies. What are the attitudes towards conservation and restoration of works of art containing organic materials that should be adopted? Through scientific analyses, possible stands to be taken on managing and preserving perishable art will be formulated. The research project will be divided in three subfields: 1) The area of art sciences 2) The area of physics 3) The practice Artists’ intentions, the study of artistic attitudes and diverse artistic concepts make up the theoretical point of departure.

Research projects