SPLICED | WAXED | DITONE ready for framing behind glass.
Our latest development is the
SPLICED | WAXED | DITONE
After splicing together and further laminating the reverse surface of our inkjet prints we apply a thin coat of museum wax. This wax coating both seals and preserves as well as smoothes the surface with a uniform degree of gloss. It also offers protection from fingerprints and pollution. The prints are nearly unlimited in the sizes which can be produced. Ideally, these works are classically framed with glass afterwards.
The first large-format inkjet print work is Moritz Wegwerth’s “BETTERSTARTSNOW?” from the series Election Night and can be seen in the ‘Sammlung Philara’ in Düsseldorf until September 2020.
A 2 by 6 meter, spliced and backmounted photographic print was shown at Paris Photo 2018. It is a prototype resulting from a research study in cooperation with the program Conservation of Works of Art on Paper, Archives and Library Materials at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart and recom ART.
The aluminium construction holds the mounted print and the acrylic glass. It is covered with a wooden frame.
Current processing technology and exhibition of large-format photographs require the use of various materials that interact in potentially negative ways with the print. In response to these conditions we envision the improvement of this production with the intention, first, by replacing composite support elements with a single, full-sized, archival-quality support panel. Secondly, the reversible adhesive we will apply will be machine-processed, therefore, leading to seamless adhesion and resulting in a smooth surface. In addition, any color retouching will have the possibility of removal if necessary.
Since digital direct exposures, such as Lambda and LightJet, are subject to size limitations, we create unique high-resolution negatives of digital files which allow for analog enlargement. This effectively overcomes any size limitations and the need for several splice joints. Analog enlargements do not generate the digital artefacts related to resolution that commonly occur in digitally processed large-format prints.
The REANALOG WORKFLOW seeks to return aspects of the analog approach to processing of artistic photographic images whilst working in combination with current digital processing techniques. It takes advantage of the versatile image processing within digital workflows while also incorporating superior analog printing techniques. Additional benefits of REANALOG negatives lie in the removal of any digital artefacts and the analog archiving of images on negatives.
Building on this idea, large-format prints such as gelatin silver and water-based inkjet prints can be created from photographic image substrates. Due to the paper carriers, both of these media have the challenges of splicing and retouching, yet this new idea will eliminate these challenges.
The photographic image and its aluminium case can be transported separately from the decorative frame to decrease the risk of transportation damage easily encountered with large-scale pieces. The photograph will be housed in a sealed aluminium case with protective acrylic glazing or glass. This case construction will come on rolls. Wrist straps fixed to the aluminium construction will facilitate the process of hanging large-scale pieces. The decorative wooden frame will not have any load-bearing function and all transportation elements can be disassembled after hanging the artwork. This means that no extra protection of the edges will be necessary; at the same time, the acrylic or glass panel will be fully protected during transportation and hanging.
The removable acrylic glazing or glass will aid the sustainable preservation of photographic images. The detrimental outgassing of applied materials that might harm the print will be substantially decreased. We will test the adhesives applied for residue-free removal of the photographic image and aim for tension-free adhesion. The entire set-up will help with the stabilization of the colors and the sealed frame construction will ensure a sufficient barrier against outside pollution. Assuming that it is the hand-made print that has the exclusive cultural heritage status, all other frame components should protect the print without interfering with its visual impact. As all applied materials (acrylic glazing, aluminium, adhesives, and wood) are characterized by different permanence properties and require different preservation handling, the envisioned frame enclosure will include archival-quality barriers between the individual materials.
The acrylic glazing or glass panel that is fixed unattached to the photographic image will allow future conservation intervention should this be required. The mounted print can be removed from the aluminium case and can be exchanged if desired while keeping the frame. Also, the decorative wooden frame will be exchangeable, and any retouched colors will be removable. In summary, the enclosed print will be accessible for any conservation measures that might typically apply in the preservation of photographic images as a result of surrounding light and climate conditions, which may include local intervention or overall dismounting and replacement.
recom ART has started a research and development project supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on “sustainable framing of large scale prints“ in cooperation with the program Conservation of Works of Art on Paper, Archives and Library Materials at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart. The recom ART team, Prof. Dr. Irene Brückle, and PD Dr. Henniges, are working together with their students and external stakeholders to develop novel solutions for the production of a preservation enclosure solution for large format photographic prints. The key issues to be explored are the fixation of the prints in the aluminium case construction and the impact of framing materials on the aging properties of prints.
We welcome your suggestions and look forward to exchanging ideas concerning this project.