Not an Archive
The Future Perfect
Saturday 23 November, 2-6pm
A symposium reflecting on the shifting perspectives on archives – from a realm of ‘deep storage’ to a fluid and generative resource – how can an archive add new layers of understanding, not only to the past, but in our ‘future perfect’?
Join Sue Breakell, Ego Awaihe Sowinski, and Alice O’Hanlon in discussing the archive – from its materiality and organisation to the conceptual and creative practices engaged with it. Archives have originated from institutional organisational systems, and yet since the advent of the ‘artist archive’, what constitutes this material and how it has viewed has shifted. From the disintegration and institutional critique in the 20th century, to the digitisation and plurality of the 21st, the ‘archive’ in vernacular and understanding has been transmuted.
The speakers will be accompanied by creative responses and the event will conclude with a panel discussion.
This event is part of Not an Archive, an exhibition of new work by three emerging artists reflecting on the 70 year history of New Contemporaries, curated by Emily Gray.
Sue Breakell is Archivist at the University of Brighton Design Archives, and a Senior Research Fellow. Her research engages with critical thinking about the nature, meaning and practice of archives, focussing on their use in visual arts contexts and in the history and practice of art and design. She has extensive experience of working with archives, including cataloguing the papers of Kenneth Clark and other large archives of modern British art and artists at Tate Archive; working as both War Artists Archivist and Museum Archivist at the Imperial War Museum, and as Company Archivist at Marks and Spencer. Prior to her post at Brighton she was head of Tate Archive.
Ego Awaihe Sowinski is currently a PhD student at Chelsea College of Arts (UAL) and Tate Britain. Her doctoral research investigates the life, works, mobilities and philosophy of Ronald Moody (1900 – 1984), placing much needed critical attention on the artworks and personal papers of this Jamaican sculptor and philosopher. She holds a master’s degree in Archives and Record Management (International) from University College London, UK. Her work explores archives in relation to Black and minority ethnic and histories and experiences in Britain and throughout the Diaspora.
Alice O’Hanlon re-trained as an Archivist in 2012, further to several years working in a range of cultural settings including the Museum of London and the RIBA and to completing a Fine Art MA at UAL. She has managed the archive of Heatherwick Studio, the architecture and design practice of Thomas Heatherwick, and the archival project at CASS Sculpture Foundation. Alice currently works as a freelance archive consultant, with clients including individual artists such as David Remfry RA and David Ward (as part of the Art360 project), as well as the Design Museum, the Royal Society of Sculptors, Monty Python, architects David Adjaye and David Kohn, and the fashion designer Sir Paul Smith.