Project Plastics - How do we retain plastic art for later?

Photo: Peter Cox
research project

Project Plastics How do we retain plastic art for later?

08/04/2019 - 19/04/2019
How do we conserve plastic?

About Project Plastics

The Van Abbemuseum is participating in a large-scale research project called Project Plastics that examines an unlikely, but still pressing question: how do we conserve plastic? Behind the scenes, two weeks of live research and workshops will take place at the Van Abbe for plastic in top pieces from the museum collection, including Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin Self-Heterotopia, Catching Up with Self, 1999-2007.

Plastic in art. It evokes opposing images. Every day we worry about plastic as indestructible, polluting material. Cleaning up plastic soup in the sea is one of the biggest challenges for the human species. Almost the opposite plays in art. Plastic can not perish, changing shape and color does it indeed. A plastic artwork is therefore vulnerable and how we have to preserve plastic is a mystery on many fronts. The Rijksdienst Cultureel Erfgoed (RCE) therefore carries out a major research project from Project Plastics, together with the Foundation for the Conservation of Modern Art (SMBK), Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science (NICAS) and seven museums and a corporate collection - Bonnenfantenmuseum, Centraal Museum, Gemeentemuseum The Hague, Kröller-Müller Museum, Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, Schunck, Stedelijk Museum and the Rabo Art Collection. In this project, they develop a method of how to identify without laboratory what kind of plastic is used in a work of art, which is the essential first question for every preservation process.

Click here for more information about Project Plastics.