Archives of resistance and repair

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organising a public festival/exhibition/event


Curators: Lexington Davis & Julia DeFabo

Presenting recent works of moving-image and installation art, 'Archives of resistance and repair' explores artistic engagements with historical records from a decolonial, anti-imperialist perspective. The work of Shiraz Bayjoo, Maeve Brennan, and Onyeka Igwe deconstructs dominant knowledge regimes by confronting documentary materials with new critical methodologies that foreground intimacy and embodied experience. For each artist, the archive serves as a starting point, a site where personal and public histories converge. They hone in on disparate regions, from Mauritius to Nigeria to the potentially innumerable places implicated in the illicit antiquities trade. Prioritising emotion, memory, and physicality in their encounters with the archive and its holdings, the artists recover marginalised histories and reimagine familiar narratives.

The exhibition illustrates that archives are not neutral sources of information, but bodies of knowledge carefully shaped by individuals and institutions with ideological objectives. The unequal hoarding of information and resources has shaped how history is told and meaning is made. To document and collect information as if it is an inalienable right is a colonial perspective that presumes authority over the privacy of others. Intervening in these repositories and reclaiming the materials they possess, Bayjoo, Brennan, and Igwe create alternative archives based on affinity and care. By exposing the power dynamics that govern control of documents and material history, the three artists reveal tensions between ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ histories. Their work questions: who and what has been left out, suppressed, forgotten? Through research-informed practices, the artists demonstrate that the archive is not a static storehouse of material, but a resource for the ongoing production of meaning. Their bodies of work remind us that the future can only be negotiated through reconciliation with our past and its lingering material remnants.
Period4 Nov 202126 Mar 2022
Event typeExhibition
LocationInnsbruck, AustriaShow on map