new-york

“Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art”

International Center of Photography Museum (ICP)

“Decision 2008” is shaping up as a campaign during which, collectively speaking, we are looking for equal parts inspiration and transformation. The sense of “history in the making” is palpable, the race also being played up in the media as an infinity of meaningful moments, ranging from the cataclysmic to the cozy, that may be used to sell a candidate or lobby for a cause. These days, it seems, everybody has a hand in history. When a culture suffers from short-term memory in this way, archives are vital testaments to times past, repositories stuffed with documents, photographs, films, records that are as valuable as the gold in Fort Knox. But there is no fair witness; archives are prone to bias. Shaped one way, the story goes like this; structured differently, it’s as though it never happened. Depending on who’s doing the telling, veracity hangs in the balance.

The idea of truth, lost and

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