The Story from the Archives

‘Collage artists collect the elements and refuse of everyday life and see these things as material for possible inclusion in future artworks.

I suppose you could say that a healthy arts community built around collage is dependant upon this vast array of detritus generated by a consumer-based culture. These are artists who have an anthropological appreciation and love of material culture. It certainly then follows that the artist-run museum will develop as a new genre – a kind of meta-assemblage of examples in the genres of collage and assemblage.’ 

– Cecil Touchon – from: Cut & Paste – Interview with Matthew Rose 2009

Cecil Touchon, Director

So… I am thinking out a new way to present collage and assemblage art from the Archives in the digital environment. I will be starting to think about curation as a way to point out the kind of conversations that are afoot among collage artists by the juxtaposition of works that seem to share similar purposes and characteristics. But this will be done from the mind of a working collage artist so be warned!

My interest however, is not to push any particular agenda or impose a conversation on the works that is not directed by the work itself.

I will however mention that, based on my study of the idea of the archives as a whole, that, like any work in the archives, the Archives itself is a single work, and as such is wholly narcissistic in nature. It, as a thing, is concerned only with itself. Hence anything in the collection is of the utmost importance to the collection as a whole. It is an entity that wants to keep growing, keep grooming itself and take pride in its own existence.

Every work in the collection is therefore charrished, appreciated and worthy of discussion so far as the whole entity is concerned. As this entity’s keeper it is incumbent on me to also be its curatorial voice as best as I am able.

“…the Archives is actually a big artwork, an assemblage of assembled things, I, as an artist, see the collection as a record, a document of interactions among artists from all over the world in the contemporary moment…”

One of the basic ideas of the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction has been to indiscriminately collect together collage and assemblage art through inviting artists to contribute works to the collection for projects and exhibitions of various sorts. Also, to maintain an open invitation for artists to contribute whatever they wish to be included in the collection. If given a choice, we will pick what we think is best for the collection but otherwise we let artists decide that on their own.

This is really, a completely radical idea from a museum practices point of view because most museums try to stay highly focused on their collection concepts and only collect the very best available works (in their opinion) from  the market or from collectors’ vaults. At least that is what I assume.

I am an artist not a museum professional. So my purposes are of a different nature. Since the Archives is actually a big artwork, an assemblage of assembled things, I, as an artist, see the collection as a record, a document of interaction among artists from all over the world in the contemporary moment via the internet without regard of proven market value or the collector’s perceived sense of cultural significance which is always in flux as time passes.

As with collage artists in general, the interest is in the potential possibilities of what something can be or could become rather than what it is accepted to be already.

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