New Publication by Michael Falser
Apr 26, 2010
Dr. Michael Falser has co-edited the conference volume "Conservation and Preservation. Interactions between Theory and Practice - In Memoriam Alois Riegl (1858-1905)".
The book presents the conference proceedings of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for the Theory and the Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration held in 2008 in Vienna.
The printing was made possible thanks to the „Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Perspective“ resp. the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
The book is dedicated to Alois Riegl, an Austrian art historian, who was one of the major figures in the establishment of art history as a self-sufficient academic discipline.
Excerpt of the Preface
Theory and practice are often considered to be two different things and this shows in the controversy both sides engage in. The advocates of practice reproach the exponents of theory of being too theoretical and the theorists claim that practitioners do not have an understanding that encompasses the totality of the subject. Numerous examples provide evidence of the tension between the seemingly different positions.
Thus in reality theory and practice do not exist in splendid isolation, but are rather connected to each other in many ways. Theoretical views influence and change practice; innovation and technical developments feed back into theory. Furthermore by acknowledging a multiplicity of practices, colourful variations resulting from the diversity of specific cultural traditions allow pluralistic methods to become a part of the repertoire of conservators. New perspectives are opened and by looking over the broad shoulders of theory and experience that the forefathers of modern conservation Alois Riegl, Georg Dehio and John Ruskin among others provide us, we can accept the challenges of the future. Conservation and restoration theory and practice therefore are not rigid norms but evolve with time and differ across the world. And not to forget – both theory and practice depend on the prevailing social, political and economic climate. Finding a balance between fundamental orientations and possible modifications is the challenge today.
ICOMOS responds to this challenge by its International Scientific Committees (ISCs). The ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for the Theory and the Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration serves as the umbrella over the ISCs by ensuring that the essential principles of conservation are preserved. After the first conference of the ISC Theory in Florence 2007 with the title “Values and Criteria in Heritage Preservation” in cooperation with the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, Florence/Italy, the Vienna Conference in 2008 drew on the premise that theory and practice are not two separate entities and the link between the two indeed can become comprehensible through sharing experiences and engaging with the current debate on conservation.
The conference in 2008 was planned as a commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Alois Riegl who opened the doors to the process of change in the theory and practice of conservation. This conference volume honours his work with contributions of 20 international conservation experts that offer fresh perspectives extending the work he initiated.
Wilfried Lipp and Michael S. Falser
Michael Falser, Wilfried Lipp, Andrzej Tomaszewski (eds): Conservation and Preservation. Interactions between Theory and Practice – In Memoriam Alois Riegl (1858-1905). Proceedings of the International Conference of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for the Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration, 23-27 April 2008 (Vienna, Austria). Florence (Edizioni Polistampa) 2010. ISBN978-88-596-0746-5, 25 Euro.
Table of Contents (pdf, 76kb)
Research Area D12 „Heritage as a Transcultural Concept - Angkor Vat from an Object of Colonial Archaeology to a Contemporary Global Icon“
ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for the Theory and the Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration