The Promise of Something and Nothing, as exhibition and publication, launched on August 1, 2015 at Sonce Alexander Gallery. The exhibition featured: Klaus Dauven, Chris Engman, Fatherless, Heyward Hart, Anne Guro Larsmon, Kevin Cooley & Phillip Andrew Lewis, neverhitsend, Emily Shanahan, Colin Patrick Smith, They Are Here, Samira Yamin and was curated by Ann Harezlak.
The Promise of Something and Nothing, as publication, additionally features response from Lily Hall & Mette Kjærgaard Præst, Jenna Yuanyuan Bao, neverhitsend, Kirsten Cooke, They Are Here, Ellen Greig and Una Hamilton Helle. Neither a rematerialized catalog nor an appropriated exhibition, the publication constructs its own space for response and debate. The collection of texts and artists’ works extend the proposed discourse and are the result of interdisciplinary practitioners who were invited to produce activity/inactivity as a collection of experiences examining archival production. The shared communication of information and materials construct an archival organism that is, even if temporarily or in substantive duration by reproduction, held in an alternative physical space.
Both the exhibition and the publication are a staging of international artistic practices and invited response sustaining dialogue on Art Archives. The title, a prominent acknowledgment of Penelope Curtis’s text From Out of the Shadows in All This Stuff: Archiving the Artist, provides the impetus for a range of voices to converge, prompt and occupy.
The ephemeral as archivable (material or process) reveals physicality, authority and locality – manifesting as indexable with constructed permanence. Hierarchies of temporality, fashioned by aesthetic considerations, when valued within a common architecture commence an Archive: a topography produced through reframing but also regeneration.
The Promise of Something and Nothing is constructed under the commandment of a curatorial agenda, involving from the outset practitioners that navigate archive production through image production. Divisions and ruptures which are expressed through dimensionality repeat as archival impulse with given vulnerabilities. Reanimated components, layered microcosms housed within an exhibition space, stimulate partitions and pathways to accessibility. These receptive conditions offer potentiality in artistic gestures and alternative classifications paralleling the archival organism’s contentious nature.
Publication produced in generous collaboration with designer Kelly Bullard. With special thanks to Ryonet Los Angeles and Archiving the Artist: All This Stuff published by Libri Publishing in 2013, UK.