Knowledge Museum

24 Jan - 05 Apr 2015

Exhibition view
24 January - 5 April 2015

Curatorship: Araceli Corbo
Coordination: Kristine Guzmán

Archives and Art

Nowadays, we are witnessing a growing interest in organization, structure, documentation and research in the production of new readings of art. In Eastern countries this interest is particularly strong, and many artists are actively involved in the change of objectives and interests as a way of supporting the construction of their own art history, proposing artistic projects that take into account the formal aspects of representation, contributing an ‘innovative’ and creative archiving process, while maintaining at the same time, a rigorous scientific credibility.

Most of the time, these archives are distributed and exhibited in museums, art centres, production and research centres. In this kind of spaces, formal, visual and graphic aspects are also considered and acknowledged, creating surprising visual maps that are proof of the intrinsic inner beauty of data visualization.

When we think about an ‘archive’ we tend to picture in our minds an image of shelves, closed boxes and folders always waiting to be discovered. However, these artists’ archives are, more than anything else, a compilation of the traces left by the actions, registers in the form of drawings, hand-written notes, documents generated through the interaction with society at a personal and formal level.

In these archives, the ‘unique document’ is not overvalued, since the interest is focused on the different readings of the artists and of the viewers. The material selected for these archives are the many documents generated in any process and usually include correspondence, personal diaries, photographs, etc. They are not always arranged formally, nor according to any normalized language, and they don’t tend to follow a strict methodology, but rather a personal aesthetic and artistic criterion.

Since the end of 1980s, different motivations have inspired different archive formats such as Lia Perjovschi’s Contemporary Art Archive / Center for Art Analysis; IRWIN’s East Art Map; Tamás St. Auby’s Portable Intelligence Increase Museum; Walid Raad’s A History of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art, among others.

Each of the archives created by these artists represents a self-historicization; to have them gathered, often with a theoretical foundation, may lead to the building of a shared history of contemporary art.

Lia Perjovschi

Lia Perjovschi, (Sibiu, Romania, 1961), studied at the Art Academy of Bucharest (1993). She is the founder and coordinator of the Contemporary Art Archive and Center for Art Analysis (CAA/CAA), an organization still in the process of development. She is also the creator of the Knowledge Museum (KM), an interdisciplinary research project initiated in the year 1999.

After working in Body Art, she starts doing research on international art in 1980, after living in her apartment in Bucharest under one of the most repressive regimes in Europe. The artist has demonstrated a keen curiosity and a will to understand, recover, analyze, share, and interact with the general public through the acquired and researched knowledge.

This interest led her to create the Contemporary Art Archive and Center for Art Analysis (CAA/CAA). The material of this archive is presented by means of open installations, discussion forums, reading rooms, waiting rooms, etc. which include a great number of books, slides, photocopies, archives, postcards and other printed material aiming at constructing an organized and logical history or Romanian contemporary art. She also makes drawings, visual maps and comprehensive texts which attempt at compiling as much information about Western history of contemporary art as possible, with a constant awareness of the subjective aspect of this archive.

After the revolution, at the beginning of the 90s, she founds the Contemporary Art Archive, a compilation of magazine articles, publications and different reproductions that she placed in the atelier she was sharing at the time with her husband, Dan Perjovschi, himself a respected (and admired) artist.

The archive became a valuable database for alternative art initiatives, together with small, low-cost works that explain and classify the different artistic movements and trends, creating a portable archive.

This archive has already been exhibited in several occasions, in different venues of the world, usually accompanied by open debates and talks. In 2003, this Archive has been changed and extended, turning into a centre for art analysis.

Lia Perjovschi, an artist who in previous years has been censored by the Romanian communist regime, which prohibited the dissemination of information and culture, puts great stock in the sharing of knowledge, as is clearly shown in her project The Knowledge Museum, which she considers as a platform for learning and intellectual play than a standard art piece.

This is the project presented at the Showcase Project and will go beyond the walls of the showcases to invade the museum lobby like an open installation that pretends to gather all possible information about the history of Western contemporary art.

Tags: Tamás St. Auby, IRWIN, Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Walid Raad