Powrót do archiwów

Kultura Współczesna. Teoria, Interpretacje, Praktyka
nr 4(70)/2011
Powrót do archiwów

Marcin Napiórkowski

The truth of the archives

Mateusz Halawa

New media and the archiving of everyday life

Waldemar Rapior

Catalogues of life. From the process of production to the way of presentation

Paweł Mościcki

Georges Perec, or the disturbing certainty of uprooting

Łukasz Zaremba

On different possibilities of the visual archive

Andrzej Leśniak

The archive fever in contemporary art. Symptoms of a disease and a proposition of a cure

Marianna Michałowska

The archiving of the exhibition and de-archiving of the artist

Krzysztof Pijarski

Archeology of photography – can a gesture be archived?

Justyna Budzik

Film archive: between projection and an object

Katarzyna Szalewska

The archive and passing. Michael Gordon’s and Bill Morrison’s Decasia

Małgorzata Nieszczerzewska

The archive of abandoned sites

Roch Sulima

The Everyday in Fashion. The Category of the “Everyday” in Postmodern Culture

Wojciech Pendzich

Underground, bunkers, rumbles. A contribution to a reflection on the myth-making role of the liminal spaces

Roman Chymkowski

A touch of the machine. A sketch on new forms of sale

The article attempts at answering the following questions concerning the category of “the truth of the archives” which provides the basis for the functioning of the Institute of the National Remembrance in Poland: how has it been constructed? Through which practices is it expressed? And what is it used for? A very specific role played in this context by the “ontic dimension” related to the materiality of testimonies, suggests that by introducing the category of truth the INR works rather with objects than with meanings according to the logic of Lévi-Straussian bricolege. In this respect the INR can be analysed as the residuum of the mythic thinking, which in turn allows for showing not only how the truth is being created in and by contemporary archives but also how the demand for truth or even the will of truth are being designed.

As the emergence of new media, including personal digital devices with unlimited capacity to record and store, blurs the boundary between the archive and the everyday, the old desire for an exhaustive “archive of existence” suddenly seems viable. Based on a collection of both deliberate and inadvertent lifelogging projects, this article proposes a sociological reading of this phenomenon focused on questions of identity in the individualised society as well as questions of social time, including timelessness and nostalgia for the present.

The article presents the theory and practice of creating the catalogue of events. Inspired by the thought of Charles Tilly and of the research project entitled “Making of the Culture – Research on the Participation in Culture” the author aims at showing by the use of which procedures of ordering of the experiential material social sciences can not only analyse but also present the phenomenon of the “receiver.” The author stresses that for the sociologist both the archival collection as well as the life social matter – which can be treated as an archive of interactions and social phenomena – are equally important. The author shows the process of the production of data which bear traces of experience and information on an event as well as the process of creating the catalogue which would provide its users with a narrative reading of the material but also the creation of one’s own vision.

The article attempts to describe the literary work of Georges Perec as a specific kind of the relationship between the language and the space where the literature undergoes an operation which the author calls situating. The object of a meticulous analysis in this article is however a work very particular in Perec’s oeuvre, namely the film on the Ellis Island made together with Robert Bober. This film concentrates on the limitations of the archival knowledge and exile as the basis for historical knowledge.

The author discusses the possibility of basing the logic of the archive’s construction on the logic characteristic of visuality. Beginning with paradoxical spatial situation of the archive – which at the same time is in the world and contains the world – concentrated on two archives where space plays a particular role: Visible Human Project and the application Street View accompanying the Google Maps program. The article presents distinctive features of images and gaze which provide basis for these archives and discusses the potential as well as some dangers related to their functioning as the visual archive.

In the recent years the archive had become an exquisitely popular form of artistic, curatorial and critical activity. According to the author’s argument the poststructuralist model of the archival practice producing the sublime experience, which celebrates weak subjectivity, should once and for all be replaced by a pragmatic model. Only in the framework of the latter there shall emerge a possibility for rethinking the archive in the field of art in relation to the tasks faced by contemporary humanities.

The metaphor of the archive applied in contemporary exhibition practices has replaced the metaphors of museum and library forcefully exploited at the end of the previous century. The author analyses its uses in three symptomatic exhibitions seen in recent months. The first is the exhibition in the Italian Pavilion of the 53rd Venice Biennial, the second – Alias, a project presented during the Photomonth in Krakow, and the third is a work by Krzysztof Pijarski entitled Dłubak – Sources. All three reach for the theme of the archive and by evoking various contexts of the humanities, interpret museological ideas in a different way, and at the same time treat history and role of art in a similar way. In the author’s interpretation these propositions correspond to three models of contemporary archive: the museum’s archive comprising objects of the virtual data base, the artist’s “environment” treated as wildlife reserve, and the archeological attitude.

The article is an attempt at rethinking the relationship between the archive and the body. Such a relation is understood here after Jacques Derrida as a specific extension of the body and memory. By means of introducing the elements of dynamism, life, thus also entropy and death, such an attitude complicates and deconstructs the dominant understanding of the archive as a safe, unchanging, purely external site for the preservation of memory. The case study here is the archive of Jerzy Lewczyński, one of the most important artists and tirelessly engaged in Polish postwar photographic culture. According to the author the structure of Lewczynski’s archive is purely performative, i.e. its meaning and value are most of all the effect of its usage. Therefore there emerges a question of the possible strategies of preserving its specific character after in the face of the absence of the artist. After all, the role of the archive is the preservation of material traces and not of gestures themselves. This dilemma tells a lot about the archive as such – is it not the case that all the archives are in the end performative?

The article talks about the functioning of the cinematic archives beginning with an individual collection as a source and a foundation of the collection of many contemporary film archives. It points to the transformation of original ideas of collectors in the context of the International Federation of Film Archives (F.I.A.F.), with particular attention to the issues of the materiality and (non)exhibitional character of film as well as other objects related to film. As a case study, the author analyses Cinémathèque de Toulouse in France.

The article provides an analysis of the cinematic experiment by Michael Gordon and Bill Morrison entitled Decasia. The State of Decay. The interpreted collage is a cluster of damaged through time film tapes which lead to the analysis of the project in the context of contemporary meta-archive reflection. In the above context Decasia becomes the metaphor of the figure of the archive with its two most crucial implications according to the author – the temporal and the thanatological aspects.

The article is devoted to a concept of a virtual archive of abandoned sites created by photographer Henk van Rensbergen. By means of his material, i.e. digital photographs of industrial ruins – often defined as “an urban wasteland” – the author treats the archive he works on as, on the one hand, a kind of collection, but, on the other, as a place of metaphorical forgetting and disappearing of the collected material. Having characterised this particular digital archive as a contemporary cultural form of interest in a derelict world, the author reaches for different theories, e.g. the aesthetics and materiality of ruins, the paradigm of wasted things or of an urban memory.

The article is a preliminary attempt at answering the following question: in what way does the category of the “everyday” gain relative autonomy (including linguistic one) and suits within conceptual systems of contemporary humanities where it becomes one of the key concepts in the same fashion as “experience,” “commonality,” “carnality” or “identity.” This sketch of the social and historical limits of the “everyday” which – as an object of reflection – the author distinguishes from the “everyday life,” is supposed to answer the following question: in what way does the category of “the everyday” interweaves into common discourses, becomes a figure of thinking about a human being and makes its way into the languages of the self-description of his/her situation. In other words, the author is trying to trace, in social and cultural context of the turn of the 20th century, what is the structure of the “recognition” of the everyday (a question crucial for the ethno-methodologic: “how is the obviousness noticed”); in what way is the common self-knowledge of the everyday born in the bourgeois culture and (to contrast) in the folk culture of that time. Finally, there emerges a question concerning what people do to the everyday today, in what way does it become an idea and a value, how is this particular “enchantment” structured in the postmodern world.

The article is an attempt at evaluating the myth-making potential of the liminal spaces identified in the territory of Ruda Śląska. The typography of this city reveals in the peripheries of the orbis interior the relicts of the border fortifications, remnants of the forest, areas of dumps as well as the network of underground corridors. The texts found in the oral and virtual circulation reflect quite a power of folk-making potential of these areas. Thus their presence could have played a role of the catalyser for the surprising myth-making processes which emerged in an average – seemingly – city of the Upper Silesian conurbation.

Two ways of buying commodities – via vending machines and via salesmen – are examples of the relationship with an interactive automaton. An ideal interactive automaton is transparent; it is not supposed to draw attention which should concentrate instead on the commodities it provides. The desire which leads to interaction and seems to be its content is not articulated by the subject with the use of carefully selected vocabulary but from the beginning to the end defined by an a priori assumed set of possible stimuli and reactions. What distinguishes these two types of interactions on the physical level is the relation to the touch – a vending machine is activated by the touch, while a salesman is generally not touched. A machine forming human needs through standard measures of human body can be treated as an evidence of the victory of anthropometry.