Gerwin Luijendijk

     
       

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Gezicht op Restauratie (View of Restoration), installation, 2016

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The research project “View of Restoration”, which resulted in a video and some adapted paintings, focuses on art restoration and examines the idea of the authenticity of the artwork. By investigating it's ethical codes and various techniques, I explored restoration and its influence on the artwork and the artwork's uniqueness. Assuming myself the role of the restorer I went so far as to question this role in relation to the authenticity of the artwork and in extension the influence of the restorer on the artwork itself.

Drawing from Walter Benjamin’s conception of the aura of the artwork, which is inherent in the authenticity and uniqueness of the original, I investigated and questioned the impact restoration may have in the aura of the original. The aura as Benjamin writes, is determined in addition to its uniqueness and authenticity also by its duration, durability tradition or historical testimony. If we accept this as true, doesn’t seem to occur a wrenching paradox when it comes to the restoration of a work of art? If restoration is intended to retain the original artwork – by supplementing, replacing or even unintentional removal of the original material – then doesn’t the so-called authenticity get affected?