Project 2 The archive

I was delighted to arrive at this section of the course. I am fascinated and inspired by work made from all kinds of archives, from the personal to the military.  The archive is a set of work that is often completely divorced from its original context and meaning. It’s malleable, and open to re-presentation and re-contextualisation. It can tell us something more about our present as well as about our past.

The Broomberg and Chanarin People in Trouble series resonated with me straight away. It’s an inverse of the Stryker FSA archive where the director Stryker used a hole punch to damage negatives that he didn’t want to see used. In the archive of such images, we see the image minus the dot. Whereas, in Broomberg and Chanarin’s work we see the dot, but not the image. The dot is what was originally covered by a coloured sticker and was never seen until this work was made. We see fragments and have to establish our own context. Like the images damaged by Stryker, we’ll never know what the rationale was behind the precise location of the dot. This makes me think about hole/whole and positive/negative, construction of meaning vs destruction of an image and how an image can be changed by damaging it, conversely about how much meaning can be retained by a damaged image. How much do you need to lose before you lose the original meaning? This is making me think about the work that I’m currently exploring for A5 where I’m looking at pink in my personal archive. It also reminds me of Holly Woodward’s current exploration of dots and the family archive, you can see her #dot posts here –


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