The Archive

The Archive


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One defining feature of the modern era has been the significance given to the archive in all its documentary forms - official, collective or personal - as the means by which historical knowledge and memory are collected, stored and recovered. It has thus emerged as a key site of enquiry in fields such as anthropology, critical theory, history, and especially recent art. The first title in the "Documents of Contemporary Art" series, this publication includes writings by Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Hal Foster and many others, and essays on the archival practice of such artists as Gerhard Richter, Susan Hiller, Ilya Kabakov, Christian Boltanski, Renee Green, and The Atlas Group. This book contains essays by Giorgio Agamben, Atlas Group, Walter Benjamin, Christian Boltanski, Marcel Broodthaers, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Neil Cummings & Marysia Lewandowska, Jacques Derrida, Eugenio Dittborn, Hal Foster, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Renee Green, Susan Hiller, Thomas Hirshhorn, Ilya Kabakov, Dragan Kujundzic, Jeanne Perrault & Patricia Levin, Charles Merewether, Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, Raqs Media Collective, Paul Ricoeur, Jayce Salloum, Allan Sekula, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Subreal, Margarita Tupitsyn, Andy Warhol and Akram Zaatari.

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  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 145 x 210 x 24mm | 563g
  • Whitechapel Gallery
  • Whitechapel Art Gallery
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 0854881484
  • 9780854881482
  • 174,571

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Author Information

Charles Merewether is an art historian and writer on post-war and contemporary art. He has taught at universities in Mexico, Australia, Europe and North America. From 1994 to 2004 he was Collections Curator at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. He was Artistic Director and Curator for the 2006 Sydney Biennale.

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Review quote

"Contemporary art constantly requires the construction of new lineages, new histories, to render it critically intelligible. The idea of the archive is currently at the centre of such activities. This anthology offers an illuminating mix of texts, interlacing analysis with artists' writings ... and a useful antidote to sentimentalizations of the past." - Peter Osborne, Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, and editor of 'Conceptual Art' "The Archive is a collection of pivotal essays on the role of archives in modern art and history... The book's playful design employs pull quotes resembling children's lettering, street-art manifestos or eye exams. One such is from Walter Benjamin's essay: 'A Short History of Photography,' showing the inspirational potential of archival material: 'Utrillo painted his fascinating views of Paris not from life but from picture postcards.'" - Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

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