from December 6, 2022 to December 8, 2022
Published on November 14, 2022 Updated on January 20, 2023


Venue: Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris

International conference coordinated by Christine Laurière, CY HERITAGES laboratory

Common dictionary definitions of "lacuna" all refer to notions of lack, emptiness, absence, or even failure, deterioration or insufficiency. It is also a deficiency of knowledge in French – we will thus speak of "avoir des lacunes" (having gaps) in a field. This notion is common to many fields, but it is more complex than this list suggests. If it is indeed a lack, it is dynamic and significant. This reality is not simply an absence, but rather a form of negative trace (in the literal or archaeological sense) of what was present or complete and which, for one reason or another, has disappeared in a kind of amputation. Except in the French case of knowledge yet to be acquired, the lacuna poses the question of the origin and nature of what was, as much as of its becoming and of the practices that it calls for: to recover, to restore or not, and in what way. It also leads us to question the way in which this encounter with the lacuna takes place between the present (today’s researchers, curators and restorers and artists who are faced with this lack) and the past (yesterday’s producers of reality), whether it is distant or very recent. This emptiness questions the theoretical or real completeness, insofar as the lacuna puts this notion into perspective: what is it? What loss does the lacuna signify if it is indeed a lack? Is it the result of a voluntary and conscious action or not? What meaning can be given to it and how can we experience it today?

More details