Voicing the Archive

Considering the role of the archive as a tool helps to address the relationships between people, their ideas and things that survived the dispersal and fragmentation associated with the passage of time. The aim of my research-based projects must be in part to keep insisting on what is present and what can be presented, to think about the present as a process of emergence captured in a distinct moment of attention. This seems especially relevant when tracing women’s cultural contributions and difficulties associated with finding their material evidence. One of the ongoing preoccupations of my practice lies in the interrogation of voice and voicing understood in its wider sense as contribution and political agency. Confronting absence, void, erasure or silence often acts as a catalyst for constructing an artwork, demanding that it performs a corrective intervention in the process of re-visiting histories now. The value of documents encountered in the process of research lies not only in what they record or reveal but more importantly in understanding the cultural circumstances of the decades which produced them. I tend to treat sound and voice as agents in contemporary manifestations of political imaginary deployed through listening and feedback. This is consistent with my long-term commitment to investigating the role women’s voices continue to play in diverse social contexts. The tactics associated with my practice urge audiences to re-discover and re-arrange the internal “structures of feeling” in which archival knowledge, material traces, artistic expression and open access have all been given a chance to cross-pollinate and to be heard.

Polish-born, London-based artist Marysia Lewandowska has been exploring the public functions of archives, museums and exhibitions through projects such as Capital (2001) Tate Modern; the Women’s Audio Archive (2009); Undoing Property? Sternberg Press (2013); The V&A Pavilion of Applied Arts It’s About Time at the 58th Art Biennale in Venice (2019). Enthusiasts Archive (2019) Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw. Her film Dismantling the Faculty of Law has been shown at the 11th GIBCA Biennial in Gothenburg.

Read more here: www.hoa.ox.ac.uk/event/wednesday-25-october-marysia-lenwandowska

All talks are approximately one hour and followed by a wine reception.

Open to all, no booking required.