Microreview: Staging Archives and Revealing Legacies
- 2022 December
- Julie Marmet reviews Camille Kaiser, Photographs by the sea, 1962 (Swiss Art Awards 2022, Basel) and Off-camera (Kunsthalle St.-Gallen 27.08-06.11.2022).
- Author / Publisher
- Julie Marmet for NewsLibrary
- Author Info
Julie Marmet (CH, 1992) is a curator, producer and militant-researcher based in Geneva. Within the framework of her curatorial practice, she particularly works with artists who engage with research by the means of art, whereas her militant-research focuses on the collective and self-organisation of cultural workers, the social and administrative status of artists as well as their remuneration.
- Reviewed Publication
Camille Kaiser, Photographs by the sea, 1962 (2022), Swiss Art Awards 2022, Basel
and Camille Kaiser, Off-camera (2022), “Entangled Events”, Kunsthalle St.-Gallen (Exhibition on view from 27th August to 6th November, 2022).
Photographs by the sea, 1962 and Off-camera are two iterations of a long-term research project on the displacement of French colonial statues and monuments following Algeria's independence in 1962. Initially installed in Algeria during the colonial period, these statues and monuments were then dismantled, relocated and sometimes even reinstalled on French territory.
The works adopt a narrative stance, incorporating the subjectivity of the artist-researcher. In video essays, Camille Kaiser recounts two specific research days at the French Defense Audiovisual Agency, exposing archival documents which contain images staging the processes of these historical transitions, and the issues related to institutionalised spaces of archiving: their contents, their constitution, and access to them.
Kaiser’s placement of the archival documents at the centre of both the research and its artistic transposition is simultaneously subject and methodology. The focus on national archival material as well as private family documents enables her to analyse the politics of archiving and reveal political accountability in the canonisation of history.
By interrogating the accessibility and conservation of these documents, as well as the identity of their often-anonymous authors, Kaiser’s research lays bare the overlooked parameters of archival processes in the context of nation-state collections and their role in history-making. Both the authority of the archive and its status as evidence are called into question as Kaiser articulates and makes visible the ‘unresolved specters of colonial history’.
As formulated by Rasha Salti in the workshop ““sometimes a wildebeest on the tundra remembers a former life”: The Quandaries, Vagaries, Riddles, and Torment of Archives”, www.ashkalalwan.org/program.php?category=4&id=461
Microreview: Staging Archives and Revealing Legacies
Julie Marmet reviews Camille Kaiser, Photographs by the sea, 1962 (Swiss Art Awards 2022, Basel) and Off-camera (Kunsthalle St.-Gallen 27.08-06.11.2022).microreviewJulie Marmet for NewsLibrary
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