Artpool40Active Archives and Art Networks

International Conference of the Artpool Art Research Center

February 20–21, 2020 Museum of Fine Arts, Schickedanz Hall, Budapest

Agustina Andreoletti | Zdenka Badovinac | David Crowley | Katalin Cseh-Varga | Mela Dávila Freire | Lina Džuverović | Meghan Forbes | Daniel Grúň | Sarah Haylett | John Held | Roddy HunterJudit Bodor | Jasna JakšićTihana Puc | Klara Kemp-Welch | Kaja Kraner | Emese Kürti | Karolina Majewska-Güde | Lívia Páldi | Henar Rivière | Sven Spieker | Kristine Stiles | Katalin Timár | Tomasz Załuski | Elisabeth Zimmermann

Lívia Páldi [Biography]
Active Archive – Slow Institution (2017–2020)


The paper proposes to look at how the archive can be a space, material, and vehicle of production and examine working with the archive as a multi-layered process that happens partly through the continuous interrogation of the conditioning of research to extract evidence.

Active Archive – Slow Institution is a long-term research I initiated in 2017. It delves into the Project Arts Centre’s history of more than fifty years, to look at what future proposals for transformation are inscribed within the manifold history of one of the oldest multipurpose art centers in Ireland and temporarily transforms the gallery into a space for productive withdrawal to slow-down from its serial exhibition production.

In late 2018, to temporarily rehabilitate the ever missing archival/discursive space at Project, the gallery was transformed into a hybrid workspace (a place for conversations, questioning, hesitation, and suspension). Documents related to the Center from various sources were studied and shared, and many entangled (sub-)histories began to emerge through documents that are partly public records and partly privately collected materials.

Organized into a series of interconnected exhibitions and events, the first presentation of the research was framed early last year by the exhibition “The Long Goodbye”, an installation of documents, moving image, sound, and photographic works including new commissions by artists who revisited their own archives with a particular focus on the late 1990s that was seminal in the Centre’s history.

The rereading of PAC’s archive is to enhance a more nuanced understanding of the changes and stagnation in a post-colonial society through culture and to catalyze discussions about the still prevalent issues such as the precarious conditions in culture, gender biases, or censorship. Active Archive also looks at how an archive, as a way of non-uniform exchange, makes us re-articulate roles and responsibilities within the context of research, production, and dissemination.

During the talk, I would also refer to some artistic and curatorial projects organized at Project Arts Centre that served as catalysts to the Active Archive project. Furthermore, I will discuss how these archival displays and shared temporal spaces emerge in communication with particular artistic, curatorial, and academic fields and areas of competencies.