Sunday, 1 February 2015

ANIMATING THE ARCHIVES - WHAT ARE ARCHIVES?


The Tate has just released a video series via YouTube which examines some of the stories behind Tate's archives of British art, exploring questions and processes that are emerging from their collection, conservation and use. 

Archives are an intriguing arena to explore, Tate Archivist Adrian Glew states; "Archives to me are where memory is stored and history is made." This is an in intriguing concept which suggests archives as existing as animate objects housing the souls and capturing the time of their initial existence and use of the objects. Recently I've been fortunate enough to be part of the MA Transformers project which has enabled me to venture into the geology archives at Ipswich Museum. Knowledge seemed to just be evaporating from the specimens in each of the draws, in each one evaporates a sense of excitement at having the rare opportunity to see and handle something existing in a dark draw. 

We can't take objects with us but we seem to love the notion of enabling them to exist for future generations, we mustn't let damage occur to these treasured objects. Yet, is the greatest damage not the secrecy that surrounds them? If seeing is believing, how are we to believe and benefit from collections in archives without access? Fortunately for us, we are all able to visit the Tate's archive (upon registration and booking) free of charge, something I cannot wait to take advantage of future research.


See below for a YouTube playlist of the videos from the series Animating the Archives: 

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