Adopting the Archive of Contemporary Greek Art Institute at Microgeographies @ Storefrontnyc


Panos Kouros presented the project Adopting the Archive of Contemporary Greek Art Institute, 2012 in

Microgeographies @ Storefrontnyc

From September 26 till November 21, 2014


I discuss Adopting the Archive of  Contemporary Greek Art Institute as a performative archiving action which aims to create an archive public. Archiving practice as public art is a field of inquiry in my recent art and research. My argument is that the archiving process itself, construed as plural and performative, can be an intervention strategy in the public realm, shifting the emphasis from the “ideology of the trace”, advanced by archival installation, to a co-uttering situation. (See Panos Kouros, The public art of performative archiving in: Panos Kouros and Elpida Karaba, Archive Public. Performing Archives in Public Art. Τοpical Interpositions, Department of Architecture, University of Patras, and Cube Art Editions, Patras 2012.)  The work intervenes in the context of the Greek Art Archive which is currently under construction by the private and non-profit Contemporary Greek Art Institute. The Institute was founded in 2009 by members of the historical gallery Nees Morphes in Athens, and its aim is to document the art in Greece form 1945 to today. It is an institution which collects, classifies and publishes its archive through activities, such as lectures, seminars, artists presentations and exhibitions. Adopting the Archive does not focus on the institution’s archival content, by searching at its most hidden areas or inactive possibilities, but it attempts to intervene in the archival structure itself, in the operating mechanisms and classifications which are considered natural. Among other actions (inserting institutional documents into the archival corpus, organizing of meetings and discussions), the work copies the digital archive in its entirety and organizes its adoption by residents in different neighbourhoods, who are responsible for its use, exhibition and public circulation. At the same time it deletes all classifications, keeping an elemental, unedited, non-hierarchical structure, a “metaphorical” structure, which resembles the act of disassembling an archive in order to carry it. This dissociation of the archive from its institutional, hermeutical and classifying framework creates the possibility of its public performance.

(See also: -in Greek)


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