Friday, March 29, 2013

Lost Art Resurrection - The Gallery of Lost Art

An innovative online archive has been announced art-prize winner at the coveted SXSW Interactive Awards. 'The Gallery of Lost Art' tells the story of artworks that have disappeared by welcoming the site's visitors into a virtual research centre resembling a crime-scene in a warehouse. A selection of newspaper cuttings, letters, images and films laid out for examination, reveal the last traces of lost works by more than forty twentieth-century artists, including Marcel Duchamp's urinal, Willem de Kooning's painting and Tracey Emin's tent. Whether stolen, discarded, rejected, erased or ephemeral, all of these works are being resurrected via the site which aims to bring them back into the public's consciousness.

The creation of the gallery exposes our intrigue with lost or amorphous art. While part of the fun of the website is to navigate your way around the virtual crime scene, our obsession with researching and rehashing the stories behind the artworks' loss, ultimately adds to their mystique. Beyond the deliberate erasing of temporary artworks by the artist, the exhibition evokes appreciation of the improvements being made in digital design to conserve the physical artwork, while raising questions about its role in the conservation of contemporary artworks. Tate Media who launched the exhibition in collaboration with Glasgow-based ISO, hope that the extensive research on which the project is founded, engages a wide audience to learn more about art history and tests the frontiers of art through the tentative suggestion that there is scope to present art, online.