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Title: Curating archives, archiving curating
Author: Yiakoumaki, Nayia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2687 8639
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis investigates the concept of archives and their role as a source for curatorial work practice. It starts with an examination of Jacques Derrida's concept of the archive in order to claim that every reading of the archive alters the archive. It examines the curating of archive material and compares it to a historiographical operation upon the archive itself. Moreover, it describes curating from the archive as a process concomitant with the three main constituents of Paul Ricoeur's historiography: 'The Documentary Phase', 'Explanation/ Understanding' and 'The Historian's Representation', as developed in Memory, History, Forgetting (2004). From the conceptualisation of this tripartite process the thesis proceeds by arguing that the curatorial practice on archives is an expansive gesture that opens their contents to numerous interpretations. The Whitechapel Gallery Archive is introduced as the case study here. More specifically, the thesis analyses archival material pertaining to Pablo Picasso and the painting Guernica, which was exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1939. The series of events to which this archive material refer, have been reactivated through artist Goshka Macuga's 2009 commission The Nature of the Beast at the Whitechapel. The thesis proves that a curator working through archival material permanently alters the constitution of the archive, as well as the subsequent interpretations of its material. Moreover, it is argued that the curator's intervention in the archive should be re-deposited within it as a means for the archive's potential expansion. Through the sustained process of curating archives and the successive rearchivisation of curatorial practices, the thesis presents the case for a powerful, self-reflective instrument of analysis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available