The flourishing of photobooks dealing with archival works reflects the desire and the urge of many authors to develop artistic practices, that transcend the archive from a place of storage to a place of production and discourse with the past under the effect of the shifting present.
The archival image liberated of its strictly factual and bureaucratic function, is activated in photobooks to introduce counter-narratives, to uncover untold or repressed stories, to negotiate collective or personal trauma or even to establish grassroots social, political and emotional archives.
What’s really interesting about the photobook as an artistic medium is that by enabling the production of complete narrative holes, especially through the editing, the sequencing as well as the interrelation of the images, it opposes the overall static and taxonomic archival format. In this very condition, montage and storytelling almost necessitate a repositioning and a critical reflection towards the archival material.
In this collection we attempted to gather works that represent the main strands of archival art as reflected in photobooks. These works break free of the concentrative format of the archive to move towards to its reinvention and rearticulation.
Alexandra Saliba – Yorgos Yatromanolakis
Books: Top Secret – Simon Menner, The Longest Way Round – Chris Dorley-Brown, Let Me Fall Again – Julia Borissova, Libya – Stella Chronopoulou, Where Mimosa Bloom – Rita Puig Serra Costa, Sangre – Leslie Spak, Everflow – Alexandra Saliba, Encyclopedia – Charlotte Lybeer, The Bοοκ of Fantastic Antiquities – Antonis Theodoridis, Conquistador – Nicolas Savary, Dotter – Aimilia Balaska, Fantastic Woman – Nelson Morales, Every Body is an Archive – Liz Orton