Preserving what is right: Finding similarities between collaborating with a living artist and Buddhist monks

Céline Chrétien

Abstract

This article draws a parallel between two experiences. The first one, in the context of contemporary art, involved collaboration with the artist Richard Fauguet for the conservation of his piece, Mirida. The second experience, in the context of religion and ethnography, took place in the Buddhist monastery of Matho in Ladakh, India, and involved collaboration with Buddhist monks and owners. Numerous similarities emerge from this comparison, such as the importance of the immaterial value, the object’s status, and the conservation approach that consist in an active participation and conversation from the conservator with artists and stakeholders. A potential collaborative approach is proposed between the conservation of ethnographic objects and the conservation of contemporary art.