Notes on Archives 1
In recent decades, artists, photographers, curators, and critics have caught archive fever. Archives and their processes have dominated the discussions in and around photography, with particular consequences for documentary and artistic practices.
Following these debates, Notes on Archives 1: Obtuse, flitting by, and in spite of all—image archives in practice starts with the assumption that an archive today is not only a place of storage but also a place of production, where our relation to the past is materialized and where our present writes itself into the future.
This book explores the difficulties for documentary and artistic practice in and with the archive, and revolves around four key questions: What is the relation between an image and language? What is an author or an owner of an image? What is missing in the archive? And what is an active archive?
In considering these subjects, this book also examines the work of artists, photographers, and makers of archives whose practices in particular have challenged or modeled a different handling of images. These key examples include Dorothea Lange, Richard Wright, Lisa Oppenheim, the Atlas Group, Walid Raad and the Arab Image Foundation, John Berger, Jean Mohr and Edward Said, David Goldblatt, Malek Alloula, Gitte Villesen, Tom Nicholson, Allan Sekula, Harun Farocki, and Aby Warburg. Throughout the book, as these practitioners might suggest, if one starts from the need to preserve an image’s full contextual and historical dimensions, the very structure of archives may need to change.
Ines Schaber is a visual artist based in Berlin and Los Angeles. For fifteen years, she has worked on the notion of the archive through which she has examined a set of questions underlying archival photographic practices. The projects, case studies, writings, and artistic works she has produced in relation to these questions seek to trace new or alternate archival practices. Another publication that is part of this eld of interest was a collaboration with the sociologist Avery Gordon titled The Workhouse (Brei tenau Room) (2014), produced as part of documenta 13. Since 2014, she teaches at the California Institute of the Arts, in the School of Art, Program of Photography and Media.
Notes on Archives 2: Culture Is Our Business
Notes on Archives 4: Dear Jadwa