Living Archives: Book Conservation Workshop with Giovanni Pagani

The Hague-based artist Marianna Maruyama is our 2022 artist-in-residence! During the residency, Maruyama will unfold her long-term research around termite colonies in the program “Living Archives”.

For this event, she is honored to invite the Italian accredited conservator Giovanni Pagani to discuss the basic principles of conservation and preservation from an ethical standpoint, while exploring some of ‘losing battles’ of book conservation. Beginning with a short introduction about the book as an object that carries a message, while looking at its cultural heritage status, he will discuss the materiality of the book, its organic properties and the ways in which it is modified by time – processes of death, in other words. The workshop will invite the audience to make an informed approach to dealing with an ancient book in need of restoration, based on an actual case study. Finally, Pagani will share his recent experiences and challenges with book conservation and restoration projects in Egypt and Gaza. 

Over the past two years Maruyama has been moving – physically and imaginatively – between The Hague and Rome in search of what she calls  ‘termitic space’. Termites offer limitless ways of thinking about more-than-human intelligence by provoking questions about social life and the concept of the individual, blurring boundaries between the animate and inanimate, and mixing temporalities. Thinking alongside the works of Anna Tsing, Rosi Braidotti, Caitlin DeSilvey, Lisa Margonelli, and others, Maruyama is interested in how cultural heritage might be understood from the perspective of the insects that live off of it — and in it — in addition to the ones who produce it or conserve it. For Maruyama, termites offer different ways of thinking about loss, and prompt a deeper understanding of the life and death cycle of a publication.

Marianna Maruyama is an artist and writer. Previous publications include: Performing Security (The Fifth Season, 2019), Translation in The Dark (Casco/DAI, 2014), Translation as Method (Kunstlicht, 2017), Three Movements (Casco/DAI, 2013), and Farocki’s Living Room (Harun Farocki Institut, 2018). Since 2016, she has been active as an artist-consultant at the invitation of the Sedje Hémon Foundation in The Hague.

Giovanni Pagani completed an M.A. in Book Conservation from the European School for Conservators-Restorers of Book Materials, Spoleto, Italy. He manages a private conservation studio, Re.Li.C., in Rome, working for national and international institutions, such as the Vatican Library. Giovanni has worked as a conservation teacher at the universities of Rome and Salerno. He is also the conservator librarian and archivist of the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria del Pilastrello in Lendinara. For the past 12 years he has been working especially for libraries and archives of the Dioceses in the Marche region, where in 2020 he created Recanati e Restauro, a not-profit social enterprise aiming to enhance and promote cultural heritage.

Starts at 18:00.

This is a free event.