MA thesis abstracts 2014

Marlen Börngen: »Intensif-Station« – Preservation of a large-format installation by Thomas Hirschhorn at the Kunstsammlung NRW in Düsseldorf. Discusses the decision-making process for preserving twenty large-format collages that are part of the contemporary multiple media artwork distributed in five of the museum installation rooms. The collages feature cut-out magazines illustrations and digital print-outs from the internet, some of them photocopied for enlargement. All are adhered on white paper. The collage images are surrounded by writing and drawing in red felt tip and ballpoint pens. The collages are covered in florist plastic foil secured on the paper verso with brown self-adhesive packaging tape. According to the artist’s stipulation, the works have been permanently exhibited under daylight fluorescent bulbs, six days a week ca. 100–850 lux exposure since 2010. The red media are significantly faded. The project explored different conservation options taking into account the opinions of the artist, curators and conservators, and took into consideration the approach of other collections in dealing with the artist’s comparable works. The preservation solution reflects a compromise of the decision-making parties. The artist selectively reworked the collages in his Paris studio. Prior to that, several red pens had been tested for their light fastness. The artist agreed to test two most suitable felt-tip pens and one ball-point pen in reworking the faded collage parts. The works were documented in-house in advance; high-end digital scans will be made at Recom Art of the artist-reworked collages for documentation and possible future production of exhibition copies. The artist’s assistant will assist the conservators to reinsert the collages in an appropriate foil package and reinstall them at the Kunstsammlung. Internet: Kunstsammlungen Nordrhein-Westfalen; Talk: M. Börngen, Nina Quabeck, Eva Hummert, Irene Brückle, „‚Intensif-Station‘: Conservation of the installation by Thomas Hirschhorn at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen“, IADA Congress 13. Oct. 2015. Publication: accepted, Journal of Paper Conservation.

Julia Roller. Residues of ionic fixatives in paper. Effects on aging characteristics and charge of cellulose. The ionic fixatives Rewin® EL and Mesitol® NBS are in established use to prevent bleeding of water-sensitive media during aqueous treatment. Their single or combined application varies among practitioners, also with regard to the inclusion and intensity of any subsequent rinsing. Lack of rinsing and local fixative applications are known to risk paper discolouration. The function of aqueous rinsing subsequent to fixative application was studied on Whatman filter paper samples treated with fixative solutions of Mesitol® NBS, Rewin® EL or the Bückeburg fixative solution, which is a suspension of both. After artificial ageing, the samples were analysed as follows: discolouration formation via CIELAB measurement; cellulose damage via molar mass (Mw) and carbonyl group content; alteration of the paper’s electrostatic charge via dye colouration; quantification of fixative residues via gravimetry, polyelectrolyte extraction and IR spectroscopy. Results on treated and artificially aged papers show that rinsing is of great importance for diminishing the residue and thereby any negative effect of remaining fixatives discolouration formation, Mw loss and carbonyl group increase. Papers treated with Rewin® EL and the Rewin® EL-containing Bückeburg fixative solution showed these effects significantly. Mesitol® NBS seemed to have no negative, and may have a positive effect on the studied paper ageing properties. One 15-min aqueous rinse was the minimum required, three 10-min rinses were effective in maximising the fixative removal from Whatman filter paper, which is crucial to prevent undesired side effects. Talk: J. Roller, Removal of the aqueous washing treatment aid ionic fixative from paper. American Chemical Society Division of Cellulose and Renewable Materials, 249th ACS National Meeting, Denver, CO, March 22-26, 2015. Short lecture: Removal of ionic fixatives (aqueous washing treatment aids) from paper, IADA Congress 15. Oct. 2015. Publication: J. Roller, A. Pataki-Hundt, A. Potthast, I. Brückle, Aqueous Washing Treatment Aids: How to Remove Ionic Fixatives from Paper Restaurator, 36, 4 (2015): 307–331.