During the residency, I explored the photographs held at ACUR. Many of the collections had not been catalogued and they varied in photographic formats and subject matter. From Glass plate negatives, to digital files, gelatin prints to kodachrome slides – the tactile and material qualities specific to each of these formats was manifest. The subject matter, all related to the region, was also widely varied; buildings in construction, in ruin, in re-construction, close-ups of architectural details, documentation of political events or village festivities, landscapes, family portraits and holiday snaps.
The experience of looking through the material was a sensory one, as I took boxes off the shelves, peered through folders, opened up files, engaging as much with the physicality of the storage mediums as the photographs themselves. The lack of descriptive information attributed to the images created an intense sense of intrigue and was the impetus that led me to exploring and constructing my own meanings.
The photographs at ACUR activated the past and future, while causing a heightened sensitivity to my surroundings in the present. The visual content of the imagery began to interweave into my own subjective experience of being there – of being located in the region. A certain building that I came across while wondering the outskirts of Tàrrega, triggered the memory of a building that I had already seen depicted in a photograph from the archive. I would go back to the archive to consult the image.
Often, this then stimulated the gesture of taking a new picture of that building, that would in turn, be added to my own archive. Particular photographs held in the ACUR collections, also triggered my memory to places I'd already been (and photographed) during previous travels through Spain, which then led me to retrieving those images from my archive. Sometimes, it was the material properties of the ACUR photographs that evoked memory and metaphor; the photographic edge, dust and scratches, leaks of light, crumbling of glass – all generated further layers of meaning.
Multiplicities of times and spaces began to merge, playing off each other - personal memory melding into the social memory of a place, two archives interweaving.
Arxiu Comarcal de l’Urgell (ACUR)
May - June 2017
Exhibition: 15 July - 20 July, 2017
Presentation: 18:30, 15 July 2017.
Interweaving Archives explores how my personal photographic archive intersected with the photographic collections at l'Arxiu Comarcal de l'Urgell.
One of the outcomes of this project was a limited edition postcard series that features an image from each archive on either side of the card. The lack of descriptive information attributed to the ACUR collections was used as stimulus to explore and construct meaning, through subjective, intuitive responses.
To own an edition of Interweaving Archives click here
This project was made possible through the Residència de creació Program, Departament de Cultura. Generalitat de Catalunya / Ministry of Culture. Government of Catalonia.