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Tuesday, May 17 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
(Photographic Materials) Restoration of an experimental film: research of an adhesive compatible with color film materials

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During my fifth and last year (2014-2015) of studies at the Institut national du patrimoine (National Institute of Cultural Heritage) in Paris, France, I studied and worked on restoring an experimental film created by Frédérique Devaux in 2001. The film was conserved at the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. The film comprises roughly 500 pieces of positive, negative and reversal colour film of different sizes (ranging from a 1-mm2 fragment to a 30-cm film strip) and is 842 cm long and 1.6 cm wide. The pieces are held together by means of a large quantity of adhesive tape. The spool of film was in fragile condition due to the detachment of a large number of the adhesive tapes holding the pieces together. To preserve the work’s authenticity in terms of the materials used and their application during restoration, it was decided to keep the adhesive tape and to replace the tape that was no longer fulfilling its intended purpose with a new adhesive. Through experimental research, three acrylic adhesives used in the conservation and restoration of photographs were tested: Plextol B500, Lascaux® 303HV and Lascaux® 498 HV. A mix of Lascaux® 303HV [2:3] and Lascaux® 498 HV [1:3] was chosen for the re-gluing and repositioning of the original adhesive tape. This adhesive mix was applied dry and heat-activated. For this presentation, I propose to present the scientific research that led to the choice of a blend of adhesives compatible with the film materials at hand, as well as the application of that adhesive during restoration. The results of this research may be of interest to photograph restorers because the materials studied also exist in the form of slides, whose mounts also have to be strengthened using adhesive from time to time. Moreover, the issue of restoring adhesive tape raises ethical issues specific to contemporary works, such as the conservation of replaceable materials.

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Constance Duval

Junior Conservator of Photographs
Conservator of photographs, Constance Duval graduated from the Institut national du patrimoine (National Institute of Cultural Heritage) in Paris, France in September 2015. In 2010, she received a degree in art history with a concentration in the history of photography. She did an... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Room 516 CD