“As It Was, Where It Was”: Material Memory and the Logic of Restoration
Presentation of a book project and work in progress during the CBEES Advanced seminar with Irina Sandomirskaja.
In my presentation, I will concentrate on restoration (as a strategy of historical preservation), with special attention to the paradoxes of historical preservation in the USSR, the land that initially proclaimed its raison d’etre in the non-reversibility of historical time and in the rejection of the valuable legacy of the past. I will also discuss how restoration (as preservation) is related to restoration (as counter-revolution), both based on repetition (“revolution’s nightmare”, according to Marx). My third point is how restoration (i.e., the praxis of historical preservation) deals between matter and discourse in the constitution of the monument of the past, the monument’s double life as a material thing and a historical/aesthetic object. Restoration and conservation are two opponent philosophies of memory seeking a resolution between these two and arriving at radically different ethical solutions.
Presenter: Irina Sandomirskaja