Think Tank II: Archives of the Ephemeral and Policies[Bearbeiten]
25.05.2018 Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA)
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Guests: Madeleine Amsler (Performance Price Switzerland), Katharina Dunst (SIK-ISEA), Felix Rauh (MEMORIAV), Sören Schmeling (photo archive of Kunsthalle Basel), Harald Krämer
Participants: 18 Persons
In general, archives have conventions, collection logic and order structures. These are in seemingly insoluble conflict with the demand for more openness when it comes to more bulky documents and formats of performance art that are to find their way into the archives.
The presentation by Felix Rauh of MEMORIAV made clear what funding agencies pay attention to when providing strategic advice to audiovisual archives: Every selection must be comprehensible; a professional status analysis must be carried out; adequate conservation measures must be taken; the materials must be made accessible and the rights of use clarified.
Katharina Dunst revealed the specific criteria according to which SIK-ISEA collects written material (including invitation flyers and press articles) on individual artists. If an artist has reached a certain amount of entries (performance artists with a performance event are treated the same as other artists with an exhibition participation), he / she will advance into a higher processing level, which will result in an article with images of the work in the SIKART digital encyclopedia. The SIK-ISEA thus has a well-defined collection strategy that produces a quantitative representation of performance activity in Switzerland when artists provide them with material.
Madeleine Amsler’s contribution made it clear that entire collections, in the case of the Swiss Performance Art Award especially audiovisual material, have a better chance to be included. The Swiss Performance Art Award is in negotiations with the Foundation SAPA regarding the inclusion of the collection.
Think tank II made it clear that oral history projects are underrepresented in archives and that artists could play a much more active role in archiving their work. Memo and art institutions as well as cantonal and Swiss funding agencies must also be sensitized to the specific requirements of archiving performance art. Performance art should not be marginalized by non-representation, but rather access to documents of performance art should be more easily guaranteed in the future.